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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

1,252 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,252
Reviews: 603
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 75
Gots: 327 | FT: 23
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)
2014: 14.20% (Batch #10)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,252 | Reviews: 603
Photo of SFLpunk
4.76/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown glass foiled pry-top bottle. Bottled in April 2008, Batch 4. OG 1.130, ABV 15.53%.

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown with some amber hues and thin off-white/tan head that recedes quickly.

Nose: Aroma fills the room the second the cap is off. Super sweet and rich nose, lots and lots of dark and medium caramel. Toasty oak and black vanilla beans come screaming out. Fruit and meat come to mind. Freshly lacquered hard wood, cream and maple. Big and dense and rich and decadent.

Palate: Fat and hedonistic. Lots of caramel and demerara sugar, plus dark maple, toasted wood, candied walnuts, scorched citrus, cream, toffee, and mesquite.

Notes: Super complex, but dense, fat and slick. This beer is all about hedonism and lusciousness. The booze is present but not aggressively prickly. It's more slick than hot. Not for the faint of palate, this beer will wreck you! FFO Stone Double Bastard, North Coast Old Stock Ale, J.W. Lee's Harvest Ales. Big, sweet, delicious. Just like me...

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

bottle into a snifter.

A - cloudy, dull copper with half a finger of head which immediately began to dissipate.

S - Caramel, figs, and fruit, which gives a hint of the strength of the beer beneath.

T - Huge english barleywine taste that's amplified several times over. The hops balance out the maltiness. VERY hard to detect any alcohol in this one, it finishes with a slight burn that gives it away. Very nice.

M - Thick and clings to the inside of the mouth with a slightly viscous film.

D - Definitely an after-dinner drink for sipping. Probably best shared with a friend, wouldn't want to drink more than one in a sitting.

Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a ruby color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet caramel malt oak and alcohol

T - Follows the nose sweet caramel malt up front finishes with some vanilla and alcohol

M - This beer has a fuller body with light carbonation to it

D - Well this isn't exactly a beer that you can really drink more than one in a sitting but it does have a very good taste thats worth picking up sometime to try

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Rich copper in color, with two fingers of head that left behind moderate lacing.

S - Lots and lots of caramel and oak with hints of vanilla and cherries.

T - Right off the bat is sweet toffee and oak. What lingers behind is a nice dark fruit conglomeration, as well as the subtle burn of alcohol.

M - Big body, syrupy texture that really coats the mouth. Medium carbonation and a nice warming sensation from the high ABV.

D - I find myself enjoying each sip a little more than the last, only concern is the high ABV. This is a great once in while beer.

Photo of BabyBastard
3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from 2008, pours vey dark amber, cloudy and full of floaties. Minimal head, small ring of lace surmis this brew. Looks to be a fairly straightforward English Barleywine.

This brew reeks of caramel and wood scent. Not much alcohol heat in the nose, just huge on the dark fruit mixed with that super sweet caramel nose.

Taste is hot, big oak chips and super sweetness dominate the palate. This is one huge brew, alcohol warms the gut like a shot of bourbon.

Feel is slick, oily, feels as though it coats the entire palate. Truly a dominating brew. Surely not for the weak and undedicated. You need to be a man to finish one of these.

Photo of EchoCharlieEcho
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Almost clear dark gold with a garnet tint, about an inch of thick light caramel head that settled to about 1/8 inch for most of the duration. The bar just tapped this one.

S: Intensely sweet with toffee, caramelized dark fruits (I'm picking up figs, plums, and cherries), oak, brown sugar, and vanilla. Alcohol is distinctly present and it blends well with the other scents. As this warms, I detect charred malts.

T: Sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, and dark fruits are dominant, followed by the warming alcohol. Vanilla and oak follow. As this warms, the alcohol and fruits become more forward.

M: Despite medium carbonation, this is still thick and syrupy. The high ABV makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Full body.

D: Can't drink too much of this in one sitting, but I will be getting it again. Though next time I hope they give out some complimentary insulin.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Look - medium caramel color with about half a finger's worth of foam, and specks of tan colored objects floating in the beer. Good carbonation level.

Smell - Very strong worty smell, which seems atypical of the style, so I might be wrong. A bit of sweetness, probably the turbinado sugar, which gives it almost a sugar cane smell.

Taste - extremely powerful taste sensation going on here. I usually can't really taste a beer until it gets further toward the back of my palate, but wow, this hit me like a ton of bricks with the first drop! Slight bitterness that fades into a sweeter taste, but leaves with a bit of a bitter taste at the end...very confusing. Sweetness may be due to the sugar plus a bit of caramel, caoco, or other syrupy ingredient. Maybe a hint of fruitiness, maybe something along the line of a lime.

Mouthfeel - very creamy/syrupy...possibly one of the thickest I've tasted in a while.

Drinkability - Very good beer. I love the complexity of it. As far as being able to come back for another one or two, I couldn't say I could do it. One a night would be my limit for this beer.

Photo of Pubcrawler
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this Tasty Brew into a Dogfish Head Snifter. April 2007 Batch 3.

A - Medium Amber Color, hint of Orange.
S - Caramel, Fruit notes.
T - Little bit of Caramel Note, some Fruit, and definetly some alcohol taste to it!
M - Medium mouthfeel, little bit on the thicker side, but great carbonation.
D - Definetly I'm into higher ABV Beers and this has to be one of the easier drinking ones. I love it, wouldn't do more than one in a sitting though.

I would buy this beer again, but wouldn't mind sharing with someone either.

Photo of shamrock1343
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer at Dublin Square in Bordentown, NJ. It has a great smell and appearance. The taste was sweet and you could taste the alcohol in it. I have had beers in the high ABV that are totally undrinkable. This beer did not have that issue.

I am going back to have another.

Photo of Manoftyr
3.11/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

oured from 12oz bottle into pint glass '10 vintage so it's pretty green.

Appearance-Pours a rich, slick almost ruby red into the glass; no real head or lacing but with this ABV I wasn't expecting much. Looks like a fairly typical barleywine.

Aroma-Maybe it's because this bottle is green but I smell a really raw kind of oaky character that overwhelms everything else, maybe with a few years it mellows out but right out of the raw like this it's waaaay too aggressive. It's pretty alcoholic on the nose as well.

Taste-Sweet, very, very sweet with a caramelly kind of sticky toffee flavor with huge overtones of fruits soaked in bourbon with hints of vanilla and brown sugar. I tastes a lot better than it smells but I still feel the flavors would have come together a lot better if I had given this a few years.

Mouthfeel-Thick, sap/syrup thick without much carbonation; quite nice actually.

Drinkability-A single 12oz glass is more than enough.

Notes-I think I'm going to pick up another bottle and horde it away for a few years and re-review this; this beer really scream out to be aged.

Photo of AleWatcher
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes--
Poured into snifter

Hazy translucent (not opaque) orange bourbon color (bad lighting in bar). Caramel colored head is packed with fine bubbles. Nice thick sheets of lace that look great but quickly recede back into body.

Smell is of strong coffee-- the aroma just smacks you in the face with cognac and some unidentifiable sweet smell. A little smokey? and oaky. The powerful cogna taste hits ard. Also a thick chocolate and coffee note. Nice warming bite of alcohol towards the finish.

Very full bodied, but great carbonation makes it slide down smoothly. The alcohol is rocking, but it is pretty well-balanced and an excellent aspect of an excellent beer.

What an amazing little sipper this one turned out to be.

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

Poured in to Unibroue tulip. Bottled in April 2008, Batch 4 (ABV = 15.53%).

A - Poured a medium amber colour with a small amount of creamy white head

S - Smells very hot. Lots of alcohol up front. Dar fruit, sweet caramel roasted malts.

T - Very sweet. Caramel, molasses, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla. So much sweetness up front that it almost completely masks the high ABV. There is also a nice smooth oaky finish to every sip. A nice malt profile in the background along with some visible alcohol burn. A very complex palate.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - For a 16.45% ABV beer, this is remarkably drinkable. The first barleywine that I have truly enjoyed. Perhaps it is because it has already aged 2 years. This beer has opened my mind up tp barleyines, which I had previously decided weren't' fro me.

Photo of scarfield
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 5, aged a year (opening in May 2010 after buying may 2009.) and shared with a friend. Pours a light Amber with little or no lacing. Smell is one of fermented or rotting fruit, particularly raisin or prune, or apricot. All sweetness, but varying degrees of sourness creep in. Tastes like a fine bourbon thats toned down quite a bit. The ABV is well hidden in the drink, feels more like an 11 or 12% abv beer. Overall a good beer to share with someone, as a full bottle could prove a daunting task. I'd try it again, especially if a different batch was made available to me.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 4, bottled April 2008. In a snifter it was a pretty cherry amber color with a small tan head. Very sweet aroma, caramel and fruit. Fairly hot alcohol aroma. Sweet, sweet taste. Caramel, a bit of fruit, some late hops. Alcohol still pretty noticeable. Syrupy mothfeel. A barleywine on steroids.

Photo of waltonc
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked open a 2007 bottle I've been storing for a while.

A: Pours a nice caramel color with sudsy light tan head, but is marred by an unappetizing suspension of particulate distributed uniformly throughout the glass. With each sip, I think of that particulate, and the fact that I am ingesting it. Off putting.

S: Pleasantly odoriferous. Butterscotch, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar dominate the olfactory senses. I detect no hops at all.

T: The same sweet candy flavors predominate - buttery toffee, caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar. This is a sugar bomb. A dessert of a beer. And in spite of the 12 ounce serving, should be shared with a friend.

M: Thick, sweet, sticky, and low/medium carbonation.

D: I love this stuff, so have no difficulty putting it away. Reminds me of Alpine Great, Big Sky Old Bluehair, and J.W. Lees.

Photo of TommyW
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle in a snifter; vintage 2007

A- Brownish with dark gold tints; thin, off-white head.

S- Fruity sweetness of apricot, apple and grape with buttery malts, a faint whiff of hops and a noticeable alcohol.

T- Buttery, caramel malts with notes of oak, caramel, vanilla and tobacco. The alcohol is there but is very mellow; warms you up quickly though.

M- Nearly, syrupy thick with a very easy carbonation.

D- The aging has done awesome things for this beer; it's simply awesome!

Photo of deathdealer666
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Now that this thing has sat for 3 yrs... It's still god damn undrinkable. And there's shit floating everywhere. Good carbonation otherwise, a little lively. Smells like I'm gonna have a terrible morning. UNHOLY BOOZE!! Tastes like fermented prune juice, or a Dr. pepper & Old Grand Dad. Way to drinkable! Fuck them and their 14.9% ABV, I'm going to bed.

Photo of fastsrt
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Samael's Ale has a russet colored body with basically no head, which means on lacing or retention.

The nose is bursting with aroma. Tons of toffee, brown sugar, fruits and a touch of bourbon.

Samael's Ale has a huge flavor; it is extremely sweet and rich. Toffee is the strongest taste for sure, providing a nice, almost sticky sweetness. Cherries and even a touch of citrus are fairly strong too, tasting a bit like they were candied and then doused with bourbon. Speaking of bourbon flavors, there is a touch of vanilla and brown sugar, all of which I assume come from the oak aging. There is a hint of bitterness from the hops, along with a little bit of pipe tobacco. The alcohol hides in the finish, providing a small reminder that this beer is over 16%ABV. Samael's ale is packed with flavor, and for some it might be a little to sweet, but for me it is just right for the English barleywine or strong ale style.

A touch of carbonation and a good amount of heft to the body make up the mouthfeel.

Samael's Ale is definitely a sipper based on its richness and its hefty ABV. In fact, it was a little bit like drinking some kind of liqueur. I enjoyed my first experience with Samael's ale and I would love to cellar a bottle for a few years.

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours like a heavy dark void that was impenetrable by light; it was topped with a thick brown and bubbly head and that didn't waste its time disappearing. Little carbonation. There were strong sweet aromas ranging from tootsie rolls to vanilla to melted brown sugar all covered by a slight undertone of alcohol. It's well enveloped by alcohol with a strong sweet with hints of almond, vanilla, brer rabbit molasses, caramel, and dark fruit. Oh yes and malts flavors too! This is a full bodied ale that really knocks your taste buds around; this ale does have some smooth qualities in its drinkability but is a real in your face ale overall. This was a rather difficult beer for me to drink, but well worth the experience.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this one's been in the cellar for a few years. A re foil wrapped 12 ounce'er. Bottled in 2005, label states - 14.5% ABV. Uncapped and poured into my tulip glass. Samael's appears a clear, crimson brown color with barely any foam to mention. Nose and flavors consist of dark toasted wheat bread, brown sugar, plums, raisins, sweet, sweet caramelized malt, very mild cider vinegar notes, candied cherries soaked in booze. Medium to full bodied for the style and somewhat syrupy with decent carbonation. Alcohol heat was not as noticeable as I thought it would be. This has mellowed quite nicely actually. Nice drinkability, one sip at a time.

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just had the 2010 release and it was as fantastic as it always is. Pours a great dark copper color with a fizzy white head that quickly dissapates. On the nose I mainly got notes of Vanilla and maple syrup. The palate was sweet and malty with flaovrs of vanilla extract, nuts, and banana. The high BAV really starts to show through in the finish, sort of drinks like a good cognac, goes down smooth with a slight burn at the end.

Photo of MrStark
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is cloudy copper amber with a one finger of white head that dissipates into a thin cap.

Smell is quite sweet with aroma of malt and and the alcohol. The oak is present as well with hints of vanilla and fruit. To me a nice, complex and inviting aroma.

Taste is quite good. There no denying the abv in this brew as it makes itself apparent right off the bat. Quite strong with sweet caramel malts and like the smell hints of vanilla and some dark fruit. A good tasting sweet fairly complex flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied that coats the mouth pretty smoothly. The alcohol warms pretty good on the way down.

Drinkability is pretty good. I was surprised how easy this went down for me as I thought it would be pretty intense with a 16.45% abv. There is a bit of burning as it goes down but nothing to really turn me off. It seems to be one the sweet side but still a pretty good example of and English style barleywine. I would enjoy having another, but this is best as a once in a while beer for me.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled in 4/09, Batch 5, I haven't had this in about 4 years; I was at a different point in my beer adventure, they say this is a English Barleywine, let's see how this revisit goes, the last of the Avery big beers I have yet to review,

A: Pours an amber/red with a light white head, good retention at this ABV level. Light lace.

S: Brilliant. Heavenly dark fruit. Prune and raisin abound. Bit of ripe Bing cherry. Light ethanol character, but it certainly works here. Fragrant and expressive.

T: Sweet residual sugar off the bat. There's a good complexity to this ale. Molasses, but the dark fruit and sugar is crazy here. Definitely delicious.

M: A big beer for sure. The ethanol is surely there, but it melds easily with the malt. This is why I love beer. A wine at this alcohol level would surely show its strength, but the great malt character works with the ethyl play here and creates an interesting combination.

D: A delicious strong ale. I like revisiting beers I've had before my BA days. It's a good compass to compare where I've come in 4 years. The beer reminds me of a young JW Lee's in some ways. It's still a bit boozy, but at 16.5% and a year old, I can't say I blame it. Great now, but a beer I want to put in a vault until 2025 and see where it goes.

Photo of ryanonline
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,252 ratings.