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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

1,234 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,234
Reviews: 600
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 74
Gots: 311 | FT: 19
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,234 | Reviews: 600 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of magictrokini
2.97/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Disappointing. Pours brown with floaties suspended in the thick, carbonation-free liquid. No head could be forced from this one. Aroma is very nice, sweet and caramel with a heavy oak quality. The oak is very apparent in the taste, just as the description points out. Problem is it only enhances the overly sweet caramel-malt of this brew. The alcohol came out as the beer warmed, making this sticky-sweet syrup that became undrinkable. I will try this again, and pray I just got a bad bottle this time around. Maybe it will have gone down from its oppressive $8 a 12-oz price.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rather uncommon brew is a real treat if you don't mind something on the sweeter side, and for dessert.

Pours orangey-amber with almost no head. Nose is NYQUIL cherry flavor, with some peachy Southern Comfort spirit aromas.

Palate is a viscous, gooey sugar bomb with cherry, wood, and again peach liquer.

Finish is sickly sweet but enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in April 2007. This should be ready to drink with the alcohol being at a more tolerable level. On to the beer:

Lots of sediment in the body. Milky white head on to this dark orange, almost brown beer. Very aromic. It's big on oak and caramel, a bit of fruity alcohol. Now I hope this isn't too hot to handle. Damn...I'm smoking fumes from my nose. Very very mellow flavor, and yet so darn tasty. Lots of oak and sweet candy...caramel and toffee flavor, fruity. It melts on your palate very pleasantly, that's for sure. You can feel the alcohol, but that's mostly in the throat, not on the palate. I'm loving this, I just wish there was less sediment. Sit back and sip on!

Photo of rkuhnel
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not sure I have ever had anything quite like this before, Drinks more like hard liquor than beer. Very dark orange color with a small tan head. Very pungent nose of ripe fruit and oak. Smooth mouthfeel and the alcohol is well hidden for something the powerful. Flavor of caramel malts, citrus hops, and ripe fruit. Probably not for everyone but I enjoyed it.

Photo of nick76
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma and taste are so sweet you would swear that there is syrup in it. Very vinous as well. The appearance is golden orange. Flavor is oak like with a somewhat liquor quality. Palate is thick and smooth. Very Good! Even though it's really strong it doesn't knock out your taste buds.

Photo of JoeMayo
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage

A- Pours a slightly hazy, golden-copper color with a slight head that reduces to a ring around the snifter.

S- Very boozy. Complex woody notes of oak, cognac, and sweet alcohol.

T- Again, very very alcoholic, however it isn't hot at all...it just tastes boozy. The oak comes through with notes of cognac. I'm not really sure what it is, but some odd, almost minty flavor comes through.

M- Sticky, but slightly thin

D- Although I began to feel the alcohol before finishing the beer, it was certainly not harsh at all and overall pretty smooth given the alcohol content.

Photo of hopdog
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle labeled bottled in 2005.

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of wood, vanilla, toffee, smoke, and some alcohol. Tastes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, and some wood. Reminded me of sipping on sherry. Sweet and bordering on cloyingly sweet. Lots of alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 4/27/07

Photo of cnally
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dangerous looking bottle and abv. Let's go.

Cloudy reddish brown color, looks like apple cider. Very little head and lacing.

Oaky wine-type smells. Big malt and scents of hickory and bourbon.

Holy massive Lord this is a sweet beer. The sugars just attack right up front, but the flavor mellows down into the malt. Spicy spicy. Apple flavors, with a genius alcohol sting on the afterbite.

Sticky as hell feel. Heavy and unrelenting.

Obviously a monster. Wouldn't want to chug this one. But, the overall arch is that it is really powerful. The sum of the parts is less that the whole, it you know what I mean. I will definately get this again if I need to catch a buzz. But not for the taste.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy copper with amber tints and decent carbonation leading to a small head. A very thick smell of sweet malts and some dark fruits. I am not sure what I smelled, the aroma was all over the place here. Unbelievable sweet malt taste that knocks you on your ass and there seems to be some floral hops to punctuate a vivid thickness of this beer and give it a slightly hoppy backend. Despite the high ABV the alcohol burn isn't too bad, but this is only a sipper and I still couldn't finish it all. It is like drinking a milkshake it is so thick and as it warms it got a little rough on my throat. This is a dessert beer to split with somebody on a cold winter night for a good occasion.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.02/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 10/22/2007 (bottled May 2006, batch 2):

Pours a ruby brown color, lighter edges. Off-white head, frothy but small. Hoppy aroma, grapefruit. Dark woodsy scent, malts and alcohol. Aroma of spices when inhaling deeply, some sweetness and caramel. Caramel and sweetness, dark raisin-y taste. Spices, clove. Sickly sweet aftertaste. Warming up...taste of something dark might be the oak - a hard flavor. A lot of alcohol. Too alcoholy.

Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/26/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors, in Mesa, AZ. $6.99.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, had a freshness and or batch, but didn't write down. I know it's either a 2005 or 2006. I've had it for a minimum of 2 years. Poured into my JW Lees glass.

Appearance- Copper-mahagoney-caramel color. Pours with a 1/2 inch head, quickly evaporates to a very light rim. Leaves spotty-watery type lace.

Smell- Lots of oak, lots of vanilla, lots of mollasses, lots of sugar and lots of hard alcohol notes. Lots of everything I guess. Smells very potent and very nice.

Taste- Quite like the nose. Oak is strong, but not to overtake the other flavors completely. Vanilla and brown sugar with a dark mollasses malt flavor. Maybe a bit of a buttery flavor or maybe texture. Alcohol notes are strong like brandy.

Mouthfeel- A bit more carbonation would have been perfect. About cask style here, which made it a bit more syrupy than it had to be. Ultra long lasting oak flavor as the next two beers I shared tasted like oak.

Drinkability- Very nice! Will be having more of these in the future. I think they are up to about $9 each now though, which makes it a rare buy.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid close to $8 US for this down in Idaho in Bonner's Ferry. Even the woman at the till in the grocery store commented on it (until she rang through the Dogfish Head Fort for over double that price...). Then looking at the 15.53 abv% listed on the label, I can kind of understand why the big bucks for such a small bottle. 12 oz. brown bottle, red foil around the cap and neck, label states bottled in April 2008 and that this is Batch 4. Let's see how I now fair against the prince of demons...

Two fingers of cream coloured spongy head that starts to dissipate the moment it peaks. Clear chestnut hue to the body, very nice. Leaves a top tier of thick sticky lacing.

The aroma tends to sway between pleasant and pungent, whiskey malt and oak chips on the former side of the fence, a kind of sour barnyard funk on the latter. Very vinuous boozy character as well, like when scotch hits the 27-30 year old point, and you're not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Flavour is rich and intense and layered. Thick toffee and bready cake, chewy sticky sweet, spice and dates and black currants, alcohol warmth plunges from the depths like a leviathan overwhealming everything above the surface. The warm spicy alcohol tends to become the finish as well, and radiates long into the aftertaste. After only half a bottle I'm really feeling this stuff.

For the style and abv% the mouthfeel on this stuff is gold, smooth, a bit of soft carbonation and medium body, inconceivably drinkable for what it is.

Okay, so the aroma still kind of puts me off--entices me then stinks me out--but the rest of this ale is gorgeous, though not deceptive. I'd love to have another one, but know better than that to have another one, this one has nearly looped me enough. Any more and it'd end in tears, tears that the prince of demons Samael would gladly drink himself I'm sure. Not this time buddy boy.

Photo of Yesac
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Semi cloud amber with a small head that fades quickly.

S - After the first whiff, it's difficult for my to even word what the smell is. Whatever this smell is, its very strong and sweet/sour. Like a burbony cherry.. it's very complex.

T - This thing has some bite, a pretty strong alcohol taste with this complex cherry and burbon like taste. It's similar to a mead. Unique, but not for me.

M/D - The mouthfeel is pretty thin and not much is left to linger. The strong sour smell and the taste of strong alcohol and the fact of this brew being 14.9% makes it hard to finish.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My seventh pour at the Avery 15th Anniversary Party.
"Holy shit, they have a Vintage Tent!!!"

'06 Vintage

a: a hazy gold body with a thin white head.

s: vanilla oak, booze, butter.

t: buttery, vanilla, oak, movie theater popcorn, molasses, medicinal alcohol.

m: medium body, average carbonation, smooth.

d: Ages well!!! Many of the flavor and aroma components are what you might find in an oak-aged chardonnay that has experienced Malolactic fermentation. I guess they oak has really influenced this beer.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

P: Presented in a brown, 12 oz. bottle with red foiling and freshness dating: Bottled in April 2007. Batch 3. Received from Masala Mama as part of a WI/MN trade. Poured, appropriately enough, into a 6 oz. highball glass.

Label depicts Samael - the angel of death. Imagine that: demonology used in beer branding! That's never been done before.

A: Pours a darkly hazed orange amber with a thin rimming of khaki-colored head.

S: Bourbon, oak, candied fruit, cherries and smoky peat.

T: Robust malt and sugar upfront. Cloyingly sweet with big notes of cherry, vanilla and bourbon. Alcohol moves in with a slow, warm burn. Hints of caramel and earthy peat. Finishes sweet with a lingering snap of oak.

M: Creamy, smooth and syrupy. Thick, slick and heavy on the palate.

D: Brewed to be sipped. Share a bottle and take your time.

Photo of satowns
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage, tasted and rated on 9/14/08

Deep amber with ruby tint. No head, but good carbonation.

Rummy alcohol and raisin in the aroma.

Flavor reminds me of spiced rum. Dried fruit, vanilla bean, a little pinot noir-ish fruit.

This beer is holding out really well! It has been cellared in my crawlspace since it was locally purchased. There was no signs of any problems with the beer upon opening. Nice psssst when I cracked the cap. I poured into a footed goblet. The aroma is pretty dominating at first, but then it fades relatively quickly. Excellent body and a vinous quality to the flavor. 14% abv, but where is it? You almost expect a beer to have a little hot-ness to the flavor, but I just cant find in Samael's. I'm glad I have a stash of this vintage!!

Music enjoyed whilst sampling: None, but I could hear some coming from a party down the street.

Photo of jordoo
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poored into a pint glass.

Its a light red/amber color with a small off white creamy head that exits pretty quickly, probably because the huge alcohol content. This was is very boozy smelling right of the bat but past that there is woody oak, candied fruit, slight vanilla and malt. The taste is again boozy and stingingly strong with alcohol, but there is a very sweet candied malt and fruit to go with the obvious oak flovor. It has a full and smooth body that is quite nice, unfortunately its overwellming boozyness detracts from the drinkability.

Photo of PatronWizard
2.19/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a 12 oz and felt it was time with my lunch today.

Pours a right proper ruby amber with a decent head.

Smell is FRUITAAAY. And glue? Some sort of plastic adhesive fo sho.

Intensely strong flavor, and sadly enough, not to my liking. Some caramel, apple, other fruits, wood, elmers school glue, and a healthy dose of good old fashioned alcohol. Big alcohol burn. So I looked at the ABV: bottle says 15.53%. Are they fucking kiddin me? I like liquor and when I drink liquor I drink it straight, but not to wash down my lunch!

Feel is very thick, syrupy, suffocating. Could've been a little better if not for the alcohol sting.

Drinkability is nil.

So I don't know if I can make it through this beast, which pisses me off and I decide to take (6) 2 oz drinks to polish this off and keep my manhood intact. And I did.

Been typing the above from notes, and now have to say that a bottle of this noise will result in increased joy directly afterward, even if it is hard to take down.

Overall: only once baby

Photo of Big78CJ
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed this beer while #1 UGA trounced Georgia Southern in the season opener. Go Dawgs!

A. Burgundy color with slight tan fizzy surface. A bit thick looking

S. A bit sweet with bubble gum and honey mixing with vanilla and clove. The clove aroma mixes into a tasty whiskey back.

T. Very sweet with intense oak flavor from the chips, brought our more by the turbinado sugar. The oak taste sticks with you, feeling you just finished a good scotch.

M. Slightly thick body from the sugar and high alcohol. Didn't realize this was bottle conditioned but thankfully I paid attention while pouring.

D. I am very glad I picked up several of these when I had the chance. This is a great beer to split with friends at a tasting.

Photo of changeup45
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled, April 2007. Pours a deep amber color with an impressive head considering the abv that quickly settles down to patches and a foamy ring. Aroma is sugary, cherries, oak, malt and some alcohol surfacing. The flavor is very sweet with caramel, plums, cherries, lots of oak with a spicy alcoholic finish. The beer is a bit hot and a little too sweet, even for an English Barleywine. Very warming and definitely a sipper. 12 ounces seemed to last forever. I wouldn't have wanted any more.

Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled in May, 2006 (Batch 2), poured into tulip glass:

Poured bright, shiny rubyish orangeish brown with a thin tan head that settles to a patch. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of strong caramel, some orange marmelade and a fruity booziness.

The taste is of strong caramel, candy sugar and orange marmelade. This is sweet, candy-like and boozy. Not sure I get the oak part - maybe a touch of vanilla in the finish. As it progresses, some raisin/fig-like fruitiness comes through under the blanket of caramel and booze.

Syrupy and full-bodied, the heat approaches burning, though not too badly for the abv.

Not bad drinkability for being so sweet and boozy, all things considered. Liqueur-like - glad I chose it for last night's nightcap, as it sure made me ready for a good night's rest. Interesting, and tasty, but it's a bit much - I wouldn't have minded splitting this one, though it's only a 12-ouncer.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a beautiful deep amber brown with not much in the way of a head even with an aggressive pour. What is there quickly dissipates to a ring with a bit of bubbles across the top. I really love the color, but I would prefer more head and lacing.

S: The smell is extremely boozy to me. There is a hint of oak in there, but the almost 15% ABV really comes through in the nose. I do not really enjoy the overwhelming booze aroma it has, but its not offensive either.

T: Sweet malty taste when it initially touches the lips. The oak flavor mixes well with the sweet malty taste. The alcohol warmth hits when you swallow the beer. It leaves a sweet after taste in the mouth. I was a little worried after the aroma, but it is a very tasty brew.

M: Very thick syrupy mouthfeel. Very little in mouth carbonation which is no surprise after the lack of any head.

D: This one is certainly a sipper. I am surprised this one is a summer release since it has much more in common with winter warmers that most summer brews. The ABV and oak flavor make it tasty but you are not going to be able to knock these back one after another.

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Samael Ale comes is a cool bottle with great art work showing a faint prince of demons. It was brewed in May of 2006. The color is a cloudy mahogany with no foam head at 14.5 it looked more like a barleywine than an English strong but it went down none the less. It had the small stream of bubbles rising in the middle of the glass.

I loved the aroma. It was sweet and figgy and of oak. I also got a deep dark fruit smell like. The taste was sweet wine like with a oak chip finish. It almost becomes cloying but walks the line and remains nice and sweet. On the finish you get the tinge of alcohol and the oak. Very nice. Overall a fun experience and will buy one of these every year or every two years.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

so, 227 reviews as of my posting. Guess this has been around a wide area. Bottle note's this is batch 4. Over 15% abv as noted on the label and it requires a very slow sipping approach to handle. I've got a couple more in the cellar to age and share with adventurous friends. I'll note it's probably too strong for me to buy more.

Photo of Pencible
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Two years aged, this poured a hazy burnt sienna with no head. It smelled like very strong dried apricot hops, sweet caramel malt, melted butter, and a hint of oak and alcohol. It tasted like powerful and sweet apricot and raisin hops, fresh cut oak, super sugary caramel, and blatant alcohol. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a strong and lasting bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a very unique and bold ale, that drank almost like a cordial. It was fairly complex, but was still clean. It's overwhelming sweetness was reminiscent of the 120 Minute IPA, meaning this beer must be sipped, and it's difficult to finish an entire bottle.

Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,234 ratings.