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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

1,130 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,130
Reviews: 582
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 66
Gots: 271 | FT: 16
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: 1,130 | Reviews: 582 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeBloe

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%

Picked up a bottle of this in Oklahoma in July 2008. Beer was bottled in April 2008. Pours an amber color with ruby hues. No head or lacing. Smell is sweet and somewhat fruity. Taste is much more complex than I thought it would be. Sweet candy/caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit and booze. VERY alcoholic. Limits its drinkability. Good brew. Glad I picked it up.

04-14-2009 23:51:34 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of UA8


3.73/5  rDev -3.9%

A- Pours a syrupy orange/ amber with well lets just say no head.

S- Caramel malts, and burnable alcohol.

T- Fruit nectar of peach and apricot, honey. Backs with warming alcohol.

M- This dam near syrup. Barely any carbonation on this one.

D- I do like this in an odd self punishing way, however this is a niche product. It is damn near fermented fruit nectar and not something your going to finish quickly or have more than one of hence the score.

04-05-2009 03:49:16 | More by UA8
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


4.38/5  rDev +12.9%

Nose is highly malty with nice oak notes and a splash of alcohol. Smells quite good.

Pours a deep orange butterscotch color, moderate clarity, mild head. Looks good.

Nicely sweet with lots of alcohol, malt, and gusto. This is a real beer. Complex malt/sweetness/alcohol profile. Quaint tartness that might be from hops. Some deep roasted flavors - wood, caramelized sugar, earth, and faint notes of char (to the degree a blackened cedar plank lends flavor to a fish cooked on it). Note of maple syrup. Finishes oaky, nutty, alcoholic, and dry. Tastes quite good. Feels good too.

Nice drinkability for 15.53%. I remember having one of these when I was newly 21 and loving it right up to the point when it hit me upside the head with its hidden potential. Very good.

03-31-2009 03:35:16 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of JohnQVegas


3.05/5  rDev -21.4%

Bottle, 2005.

Pours brown-amber, with the faintest whispy hint of white head.

Aroma is vanilla, oak, rich, sweet toffee, alcohol.

Taste starts off with a huge cloying sweetness, toffee and caramel, raisins, goes down with a hint of oak and and a big hit of alcohol warmth.

Finish is a syrupy sweetness, mouthfeel is pure syrup, sticky, with a very mild, tingly carbonation.

Just too much, ends up being a sweet, syrupy mess. Maybe a better palate than mine can take the blows from this one and still stand up to it, just felt utterly unbalanced. This one felt a bit young - let it sit for another 3-5 years. 12 oz may be a bit much as well.

03-29-2009 13:54:01 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%

800th BA review
Batch 2, bottled May 2006

The devilish demon the label refers to has languished in the bottle for nearly three years, mercifully separated from the most fainthearted members of human-kind, crowned-and-brown-glass bound in the unholy purgatory of a dark, dank cellar corner. Exhumed from the void and lightly chilled, Samael's Oak-Aged Ale is unleashed with a vigorous pour into my glass....

Hmm. Well, no winged devils, Hell-fire, nor brimstone come shooting out of the bottle, but what does arrive in my Duvel tulip is quite clear, reddish-copper in color, and when held to the lamplight, the liquid glitters golden-amber with a glowing crimson-tinted heart that twinkles like the flickering fires of Hades. A thin cap of off-white foam crowns the brew briefly, retreating as if pursued by demons. Settling quickly, the timid bubbles huddle together in a creamy collar that rings the glass. No lacing sticks, but given the evil-edged ABV, that's no surprise and no problem for me.

The smell is quite fruity, with notes of fresh red apple, fermenting orange, and a splash of tart lemon zest with dark caramel. The aroma of oak languishes under the fruit, presenting itself as seasoned wood-- dry, solid, earthy, and cool.

The taste is sweet and fruity... a splash of apple, a spritz of lime... but just where in the Hell did the coconut come from??!?! Silky-smooth, creamy, sugary, rich Malibu-rum flavored coconut sticks onto my palate, and for the first few swigs I have a hard time noticing anything else. A fine juicy red-apple note cuts through the syrupy tropical fruit, accompanied by liquory caramel and a note of fermented canteloupe. The alcohol factor is pleasantly draped in fruit and poorly-hidden in the flavor profile, and the internal warming effect the drink has on my body feels like some techies pulled the control rods all the way out of an atomic reactor pile, leaving runaway critical mass chain reactions generating spikes of intense nuclear heat in my belly-- and on a chilly evening I'm spending inside, I like it.

The drink is silky, medium-bodied, and surprisingly drinkable-- meaning I think I'll be able to finish the whole 12-ouncer before the core degenerates into the China Syndrome from Hell. 3 years of aging did this beer a real service, and I wouldn't hesitate to throw another case in the cellar except for the arm/leg price point of this truly excellent brew. Worth trying, actually only a little evil, damned tasty and truly superb with a little age on it.

03-25-2009 22:34:07 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of getkrunkhoe


4.45/5  rDev +14.7%

This bottle I acquired in Early '07;
Poured into A snifter.

App- was a dark, yet bright red. No haze what so ever. No head present.

Ar- WHOA! Fig, raisin or prune, Oak, ethanol was def. there. Maybe cherries(sour).

T- was an oaky,pungent, and boozy taste. pleasant for its style. Some dark fruit characters...

MF- was smooth, the near two years I had it maturing really smoothed it out. much more drinkable than a recent batch. felt a little light, but with a harshness to remind you what it is.

definitely worth saving for future enjoyment!

03-19-2009 01:03:01 | More by getkrunkhoe
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%

Consumed at Pagago's
Poured a burnt orange with a small white one head. Nose is big malt, hops and booze. Taste is sugary and hot. Lots of caramel, malts, wood chips and vanilla. Mouthfeel is nice thick and chewy. This is one massive beer that can bring down even the heaviest hitters. I could not consume another one of these but the one I did drink was awesome.

03-18-2009 01:25:19 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of shivtim


3.93/5  rDev +1.3%

Mmm, some-what satanic beer. Love the bottle design. Looks evil. Poured into a pint glass. Deep clear blood orange. Nice tan head. Slow bubbles rising.

Nose is a burst of pungent sweet ethanol, grains and oak

Taste is syrupy sweet malts, oak, lingering toasted flavors, ethanol. Well balanced but intense.

Great mouthfeel. Foamy and full.

Not very drinkable. It's a great beer, but the ABV and strong flavors cut down on one's ability to drink even a full bottle.

03-17-2009 15:36:12 | More by shivtim
Photo of brdc


4.38/5  rDev +12.9%

Small capped bottle poured into a snifter.

Copper colored, reddish highlights, thin white head that does not hold very well, certainly due to the high ABV.
The rich aroma overflows from the glass, malty and sweet, with a generous caramel serving, fruitiness, alcohol related notes quite similar to port wine, and a contribution from oak and vanilla that is quite restrained, which makes it interesting without overwhelming all the other notes.
Minimal carbonation adds to the velvety sensation on the palate. Full, sweetish malts with loads of caramel and an intense sweet fruitiness, some oaky and buttery notes, relatively balanced by some alcohol heat, again port wine like and some mild bitter bite.
Certainly a sipper, a good nightcap but limited drinkability, as expected, due to intense sweetness and high ABV.

03-10-2009 23:22:24 | More by brdc
Photo of Mdog


4.2/5  rDev +8.2%

Appearance: Murky brown, chunks of yeast (I think), good head for a strong beer.

Smell: Big wood smell, vanilla, booze.

Taste: Very tasty, big sweetness, vanilla, lots of caramel, bourbon flavors. Hides the alcohol.

Drinkability: Definitely a special occasion beer since it is so expensive per 12oz.

2007 bottling, picked it up for half price to give it a try. Glad I did, it was a powerful blast of flavor. I'm starting to understand why the barrel-aged beers are so popular!

03-10-2009 01:36:05 | More by Mdog
Photo of grayburn

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Poured a nice burnt orange into the glass with surprisingly heavy head, decent retention, and heavy lacing.
Smelled strongly of oak, with a sharp, almost acidic phenolic character. Followed by some dried fruit that may have come from the yeast.
The taste is very yeasty, it has a sharp character that is only slightly calmed by the oak. There is a lack of hop presence, and I feel that it is missed. I realize the idea behind this beer, to take the showcase away from the hops, I just feel they got a little left out.
The mouth is good, reasonable carbonation, slightly acidic.
I could hardly finish a 12 oz split between two people, this beer is a sipper, but it is worth trying if you enjoy oaky and yeasty characters.

03-09-2009 17:57:19 | More by grayburn
Photo of pokesbeerdude


4.1/5  rDev +5.7%

Picked up a single 12oz bottle from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. Around $8. April 2008, Batch 4, bottle notes it at 15.53%.

A: Cloudy copper color, with a sand colored head. Very dense, excellent retention for the ABV. Awesome lacing. Murky and ominous looking.

S: Cinnamon and spices, fresh baked bread, raisins, alcohol, the alcohol is really hot on this one, faint hints of the oak aging as well, slight wood, but not as present as I hoped for. Still a very tasty smelling ale.

T: Reminds me of a rum soaked cinnamon roll, and in no way is that bad, oak flavors are there too, and mellow the beer out quite a bit. Alcohol isn't as strong as I had expected. I'm glad to have let this one warm up quite a bit. Very bready, and a faint hint of bitterness, piney to place it.

M: Hot alcohol, this one burns the whole way down, but much like a bourbon, extremely dry, dries out the mouth nicely. Not as sticky as I had expected.

D: Dangerously drinkable for the ABV. Tasty all around and dangerous. I think I'll let the other bottle age for a few more years and see if the booze mellows out anymore. Solid beer, and I'm glad to have the girlfriend here to help me with it.

03-08-2009 03:32:17 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of LieutenantWort


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

A: Pours thick & smooth, a little head that quickly subsides, not too much lacing. Lovely deep mahogany color. Holding the glass up to the light, there's some obvious suspended sediment in there, looks a little like a natural cider (not an old bottle, either -- bottled <6 mos ago).

S: Very sweet. Rich, sugary notes along with some of the oak flavor coming through.

T: A bit tangy at first, quickly deepens and the nutty oak flavors dominate. The ABV is very high (bottle says >15%), and the alcohol comes through on every sip. Tastes a bit like a smooth bourbon.

M: Syrupy and thick. Subtle carbonation. Almost an oily mouthfeel.

The closest thing in my experience that I can compare this brew to is Great Divide's Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Though both are very good, I prefer the Yeti because the lower ABV leaves room for a more interesting flavor profile. This is quite nice, but a little too much like sipping bourbon for me (nothing wrong with sipping bourbon; just that I'd buy bourbon and not an ale for that experience.)

02-27-2009 03:19:43 | More by LieutenantWort
Photo of erikm25


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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


3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

Poured a red-brown color. Hazy with very little head.

Smell is malty, oaky, and smokey similar to a bourbon. Alcohol is noticeable.

Taste is malty and sweet, almost honey-like with a nice alcoholic bite to it at the end. Very sweet aftertaste. The oak comes through nicely. It definitely tastes like it's 14.9% ABV.

Mouthfeel is very full. Carbonated, but not too much. Nice balance.

I enjoyed this beer, but it's not for everyone due to its strength. But while strong, it is not overbearing. Makes for a great winter warmer, but most probably won't have more than one.

02-12-2009 02:03:45 | More by ajbick
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.45/5  rDev -11.1%

Out of a bottle this mildly intimidating beer (14.9% ALC!) was a hazy deep amber color. The one finger head was tan, displayed mediocre retention and modest lacing. The aroma was of alcohol esters and heat, oak, ripe fruit and doughy malt. The flavors were very rich and sweet. The alcohol was also quite strong. Caramel malt kicked the door in with brown sugar, vanilla and oak in the middle. Fruity esters and candy sugar were in there too. I generally like sweeter beers but I kept feeling this one was truly cloying. The body was medium/full, the mouthfeel average and the carbonation apropos for the style. Probably a real gem when aged, but it would need years.

01-23-2009 04:18:17 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of RenoZymurgist


4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

01-23-2009 03:58:55 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of chaz410

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +10.3%

Purchased at Brawleys Beverage in Charlotte. Very nice looking beer when poured and honestly the coolest label I've every seen! Has a nice creamy tan head and dark brown cloudy body. There's little bits of yeast sediment in it and probably due to the age, this bottle was sealed in april '07. Smell is very malty, little alcohol notes in there with some oak flavor. Malts are thick and that of sweet raisens and dates. Flavor is great, tons of malts and sweet fruits. Alcohol comes in mid way through but the sweet malts and little spiceyness comes in to counter it quickly. Love this beer, one of my favorites!

01-05-2009 01:25:35 | More by chaz410
Photo of brewbucker


4/5  rDev +3.1%

Bottled in April 2007, Batch 3

Pours a very murky rust color and has a thin quickly fading head. The aroma is very boozy with big ripened fruits (plum), sugary malts, oak, and light band aid. It actually smells quite inviting. The flavor is rich heavy fermented fruits, dates, big malt and maple. It seems the appearance gets better as it warms. Giving it a little swirl creates a head and sticky lacing. I have a habit of drinking my beers too quickly but I think this one is going to last me for quite some time. Very nice overall. A true sipper.

01-02-2009 00:14:39 | More by brewbucker
Photo of seedsofchaos


4.38/5  rDev +12.9%

A - Red and ambers swirl in this thick caramely brew. Pours with little to no head.

S - Smells slightly of an alcoholic apple cider. Definitely hints of caramel, smoke, and oak. Between whiffs one gets the impression that they are about to partake of an aged bourbon.

T - Great taste! If you love a sweet and bourbony drink, then this is it. Not so much of your typical beer taste here so conservatives beware! Hints of hops but more present is a sweet and roasty caramel. I'm a whiskey lover and this just does it for me.

M - Very smooth but the alcohol does hit a little hard on the front of your palette at first. After the initial alcohol shock it goes down incredibly smooth without much carbonation to get in it's way.

D - Drink after Christmas dinner. We did and we were left impressed by this under-rated brew! I probably shouldn't drink a few of these but I definitely would. Careful, it's a hitter with a high ABV.

12-26-2008 16:42:03 | More by seedsofchaos
Photo of magictrokini


2.93/5  rDev -24.5%

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.

12-04-2008 23:44:00 | More by magictrokini
Photo of yemenmocha


3.98/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

11-29-2008 02:13:24 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of DoubleJ


4.2/5  rDev +8.2%

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!

11-27-2008 05:33:11 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of rkuhnel


4/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

11-27-2008 03:56:37 | More by rkuhnel
Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,130 ratings.