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Three | Surly Brewing Company

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42 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Braggot

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Tap only.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-19-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 89
Photo of Fatduck
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First, I just want to say HOLY SHIT this is one amazing beer. Nothing like what I expected. This one is damn near perfect.

Appearance is a deep dark ruby red, almost black, much like a porter. Smell is amazingly sweet with just the smallest hit of roasted malt. Taste, as always, follows smell, very sweet, but also offering up a dryness that is hard to find is all malt beers. I went to Common Roots Cafe and ordered two off the bat, they keep their taps too cold. But for this one, I have to say that a little on the colder side is better. It gets a little raw as it warms up. What I would really like is to see some of this stuff get aged for a year or two, maybe at Cafe Twenty Eight?

Nice creamy body, a little thin but the low levels of carbonation make up for that.

At 10%ABV this one is dangerously drinkable, the two I had were gone way to fast and if they wern't 6 bucks for a 12 oz pour I might have had more..

This is yet another amazing beer from Todd and Surly, I can't wait to try Four...

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Photo of dfillius
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a stemless wine glass. Enjoyed with lunch at Common Roots Cafe just before the keg was kicked! Manager told me it was half honey, half black Munich malt - doesn't that make it Braggot (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/114)?

A: 1 finger of dense tan creamy foam with tremendous retention. Opaque black doesn't match the manager's description of it as a 'Bright ale'. Looks like Guinness.
S: Floral hops with a bright (there it is) alcohol smell behind the hops. Maybe honey.
T: Fruity, tangy, delicious. This is new territory for me, I haven't had anything like it before. I could not ask for any improvements on the flavor of this beer. Sweet, but not cloying. Sweetness is grounded by the roasted malt.
M: Impossibly creamy, like on Nitro-tap (but wasn't, I checked). Delightful. Tiny bit of bitterness. Smooth.
D: I would have many of these. Not a session beer though! (I was surprised to see it listed as 10.00%!)

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Photo of natasharai
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with almost no head and what was there dissipated in a minute or two. The beer is a clear beautiful dark brown color.

Smell: The honey is very prevalent in the smell there are fruity aromas and a little alcohol smell.

Taste: Very sweet honey flavor, dark fruit like cherries and plum, and then a sweet malt flavor. I can taste molasses, and as it warms up the honey becomes stronger.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, a little syrupy, slight tingle on the tongue

Overall: Very strong bold flavors, predominantly sweet honey. Takes a little while to drink, but I enjoyed every last drop! A nice change for me, different and enjoyable beer!!

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Photo of KeefD
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Stub and Herb's. Pours a dark brown color with no head and no lacing. Some foam does pop as the tulip is given a swirl. Aroma is very strange, to say the least. Yes, there's honey, some chocolate, and a bit of spice, but for some reason I was smelling A1 Steak Sauce in the nose. Weird, right? Well, I passed it to my girlfriend and asked her what she thought, and she said the same thing. There was some funky stuff going in the nose, but I kind of liked it! Taste was marvelous! Light chocolate and honey mixed together nicely, with some tart cherry flavors in the background, citrus hops bitterness galore, lots of spiciness, very complex and well balanced. This was my first braggot and it was delicious to say the least. Medium body, decent carbonation, but it was lost pretty quickly as I had to keep swirling to get a head. Alcohol was pretty well hidden and I drank this bad boy down pretty fast. This was an excellent beer and I was glad I got to try it while I could.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sheffields in Chicago

A: pours dark dark brown with a khaki colored head that reduces down and lacing on the glass

S: smells like caramel and toffee malt and some dark fruits, raisins, etc

T: tastes just like the smell and wow it's delicious; dark fruits and raisins with a great balance of caramel and toffee flavor from the malt I presume...can definitely pick up the fruity flavor of the Belgian yeast...love the sweetness which is brown sugar-esque

M: full bodies and almost considered creamy in my eyes...sticky on the glass which I like, ha

D: amazingly easy to drink, is this really 10%? Great flavor makes it hard to write this instead of keep drinking

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Photo of MattyG85
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Surly's Beer Hall. 10 oz. serving in a chalice.

Appearance: A very dark brownish black with a hint of ruby. About a finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A toasty, fruity, and sweet malt forward aroma with hints of biscuit and dark fruit. Toasted barley malt with some hints of biscuit, chocolate, toffee, and caramel with some yeast. Sweet hints of vanilla and brown sugar. Huge presence of fruit with a scent of apples, raisin, dark cherry, plums, and fig. A very solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty, fruity, and sweet malt driven taste with notes of biscuit and dark fruit. Toasted barley malt with notes of biscuit, toast, chocolate, toffee, and caramel along with yeast. Sweet taste of brown sugar with some molasses and vanilla. Lots of fruit with a big taste of apple along with dark fruit notes of plum, fig, raisin, and cherry. Subtle hops. A really good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and slick. Somewhat sticky. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A very good brew. Good mix of toasty malt flavor and fruit notes.

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Photo of ndolover
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this beer at Winterfest 09 and 10...The 2010 was as follows:

A: golden with hues of orange. no head and very clear

S: Pears, and sweet malt aromas...no hops

F: Heavy pear with notes of sweet malt. lovely fruits dance as it finish. Honey notes come though as it warms

M; Very rich with full mouthfeel, some alcohol notes, but no real fusels.

O: lovely...I have never had a better braggot. A bit sticky sweet, but I love it!

Must try!

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Photo of joshuaseresse
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at ABR 2011. Served into a small tasting glass:

A - Pours a dark brown with amber hues. A little bit of head to start that dies to a thin foam head. Lacing is pretty good.

S - Dark roast with a touch of sweetness from the honey. Caramel and brown sugar.

T - Cherries, cranberries and other dark fruits mixed with a nice touch of honey. Those hints of brown sugar and caramel come back around to round out the taste. Quite tasty.

M - Decent amount of carbonation with that nice sugary sweetness. Really smooth and creamy.

O - Really, really nice treat. This was one of my favorite brews of the fest. Really nice, sweet and creamy and something that I could drink quite a bit of. I like this better than two, thats for sure. I'd like to get my hands on some of this if possible, but I don't see that happening. Lovely, though.

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Photo of optiontwo
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at common roots café (thank goodness I might add because it's cold and I didn't want to have to ride my bike too far to try this!)

Appearance: Murky brown/black. Almost looks like I just ordered a glass of cold press. No real head, just a ring of small tan bubbles around the glass.

Smell: Very intriguing. The first thing that comes to mind is bourbon of some sort with fresh apple and tart cherry. The honey is also pretty obvious. It's somewhat acrid and funky in a way that some sours and lambics are, giving off a sour grape like aroma.

Taste: The honey is prominent and delicious as it mixes with the tart fruits (cherry, apple, white grape) It reminds me of a sour brewed with honey. Some reviewers said Quad and I suppose that's about right too but the fruit flavors seem more tart and sour than they do juicy. Either way, the flavors blend together wonderfully. Besides the fruit and honey mixing together there are some more subtle flavors that make up the back bone of this brew such as nutmeg, caramel, and brown sugar. It finishes with a very slight, and welcomed, bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly syrupy but not quite as thick as one might think for a beer brewed with half honey. There's a bit of alcohol heat at the end.

Drinkability: I would say that one glass of this is just about perfect. You may want more, and if that be case then by all means! But its sweetness and high ABV make it more like a great brew to end your night with.

Overall: I found Surly Three to be absolutely fascinating, and delicious! I can see why some people have said that it's too sweet for their palate, but you've got to know what you're getting into. I mean, it's half honey for pete's sake! That being said, I thought it was actually quite refreshing because of the tart fruit flavors. This is definitely one to try if you have the opportunity and another great brew from Surly. Happy third birthday Surly!!!

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Photo of wedgie9
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Sheffield's. Due to poor lighting, it is difficult to get a good grasp on what I am seeing, but I think that it looks like a cloudy dark brown almost black color. As I drink more, I can see that there is a red tint to the beer. The head is minimal and off white. The initial aroma is of light caramel malt. There is a fruitiness as well, let's call it prune juice-like. It also smells slightly sour. As far as flavor is concerned, I have never tasted anything like this before. It starts off like a very malty but friendly amber ale. On the middle palate, this beer really shows off how big it is, coating my whole mouth while chocolate notes come through. On the back of the palate the sour fruit flavors kick in and stick around for quite a while on the finish. As mentioned, this is a big oily coating beer with lighter carbonation. Overall, this is an extremely unique beer with great balance and drinkability. The complexity is not huge, but I still love it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Black Braggot" they're calling it, and it's pretty damned black, under a creamy tanned head, about a 1/4 inch, long lasting in my Darkness goblet.

Sweetness hits the nose, you get the honey tone, then it opens up for vanilla, cream, cloves, and more delicate spices. Very pleasant.

Tasting it, and the honey hits again. It leaps up and slides all over the palate, coating the tongue, and dripping delight all over the mouth. I like honey, and I like honey beers. The taste starts off with loads of honey, then leans back, as caramel and cocoa malt flavors fill in and temper the sweet stuff some. Still sweet, but far from treacly. Very mellow.

Full bodied, to say the least, finish is solid, sweet and mellow, not too short, not too long...doesn't overstay it's welcome. I find this one irresistible, but it be wisest to control consumption and keep this as a lovely nightcap.

Cheers to Todd and Omar for another remarkable, utterly unique brew, and to three great years of Surly beers!

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I just had this on tap at the new brewery tasting room... and wow. This is an exceptionally great beer. They recreated this and I am so glad to have stopped in while I'm town. Sweet and smooth throughout. Definitely get your hands on this if. The opportunity arises.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 2015 MN ABR

Rich dark mahogany pour with a khaki colored head into a 2-oz tasting glass. Heavy caramel and toffee, raisin and dark dried fruits in the nose. Taste follows suit but explodes with dark fruits..raisins, dark cherries, figs, wonderfully balanced on a the toffee-brown sugary character. Belgian fruitiness of the yeast is evident. There is a just noticeable warming that just works well here. Full, heavy body, velvety feel, coats the glass and the palate. Big brew, excellent.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Luckily got to try this at Hopleaf - served in a pint glass.

A - When I got the glass there was maybe a half finger of foam that dissipated quickly and left a thin ring of lace. Not sure if this was due to how the bartender poured it, so I'm going to give Surly the benefit of the doubt. Dark brown with some red highlights.

S - Reminds me a little of the Kuhnhenn Braggot. Sweet malt, berries, raisins, caramel, and honey. There's also a slight booziness to it.

T - Plenty of honey, caramel, sweet malts, and a slight sour cherry & Belgian yeast flavor. The high ABV is very well hidden, and the main flavor is a brown sugary sweetness. It drinks like a cross between a braggot & a quad. Very unique.

M - Thick, full-bodied, creamy, with slight carbonation. Very velvety and warming.

D - This is a one & done. It's high in ABV, and the sweetness gets a little exhausting - definitely a sipper, and probably best shared with a friend. If you're a mead/braggot lover this is a must try - otherwise it's more of a novelty.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL.

A: Very dark with a deep tan head and plenty of lacing.

S: Lots of sweetness with both dark and ripe fruits; some dried raisins and a honey sweetness.

T: Over the top sweetness with honey, raisins, and other fruits coming to the fore.

M: Medium bodied and quite creamy; mild hints of alcohol throughout.

D: Not terribly drinkable, but this was my first of the style and I imagine most of them are this way.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a short off white head.

Scent of honey, sweet malts, wood, smoke and sugar. A nice amount of complexity, but the balance could be better.

Taste of sugars, honey, sweet malts, and a hint of smoke. A different beer, but not too different, I enjoyed this one.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and very smooth with a small amount of carbonation.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour is dark dark amber. something shy of a porter but reddish in tint. small head. smell is mellow sweet, a bit sour cherry with a lace of alcohol. caramel apple malt, with hint of candied pineapple citrus. palate is heavy toffee, caramel. tastes like a very good english style barley wine with a cirtus quality similar to over sweetened tea... sweet mead like finish. pollen with a hint of sour cherry quality. not bitter finish. just a distinct molasses like bbq sauce. a very nice light lemon zest, honey comb mead sweet, with a very light sour kick. its hides the alcohol well.

pollen but not floral. clean. an english barley wine form with a unique finish similar to that of mead.

another great beer by this brewery. worth trying.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Small Bar 4/30/09. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Served a deep, dark chestnut with a tiny head that quickly melted to a small ring and a small amount of lace.

S: Aromas of fresh honey, berries, homemade caramel, and toasted nuts.

T: See above with the addition of sweet caramel drenched berries and apples.

M: Sweet, sticky, and smooth. No trace of alcohol was detected! Sweet with a slightly dry tartness.

D: I didn't know what to expect and boy was I surprised. Excellent!

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Small white head that dissipated quickly. Dark reddish brown beer, very dark.

S- Up front honey, and caramel. This is a very sweet smelling beer. Lots of sweet malt with very little hop presence. some nice alcohol comes through but is not overwhelming. This beer smells almost like a cognac.

T- Huge sweet flavors, mostly honey with hints of caramel, molasses and roasted almonds. A slight sour presence midway through that leads to a hop bitterness then back into a malty sweet base. plums, and pears make a small appearance in the flavor. Again the flavor reminded me of a cognac.

M- Thick oily mouth feel, that is more then welcome. This beer coats your mouth with nice sweet honey.

Overall- This is a very interesting beer. It taste like a liquor or a cognac, if you like sweet and like to get drunk quick this is the beer for you!

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Photo of robbyc1
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Hopleaf in Chicago.

Sampled a small glass, nice deep brown, clearish look with little head.

Sweetness hits the nose, you get the honey tone, then it opens up for vanilla and delicate spices. Very pleasant. Wow.

The deep malt hits on front, with chocolate tones, and then a massive honey sweetness finishes and coats and lasts on the pallet. I'm not sure they used enough hops to mellow the sweetness, my only real complaint.

Full bodied, with a heavy mouthfeel, stays around for sure. The drinkability suffers from the sweetness, you must be ready for this. It's a dessert sipper. Hard to think about finishing a full pint.

Forget the Strong Ale designation, it is strong but this is a true to style Braggot, with a great malt linked to the underlying Mead, I would love to try this mead on it's own. As a Braggot it is very well done, if a bit over the top on sweetness, Love ya Surly.

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Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this so called "Black Braggot" at the Great Taste of the Midwest, poured into a sample glass.

Quite black, tan head, nice retention and lacing.
Aroma is sweetish, dark malts, honey as expected, vanilla, roasted notes lost in there, some earthiness, minimal alcohol odor.
Full bodied, and I thought I did not like braggots!
Sweet but not cloying, vanilla and honey, a few spices. Caramel, chocolate, and more sweetness, but still easy to drink, and alcohol nowhere to be found.
Another great Surly, better than Two, but not quite as spectacular as One.

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Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky brown, decent head, good lacing.

Smell: I have trouble smelling on-tap beers, but three did give a sweet honey aroma.

Taste: Starts with some honey sweetness and then I get a tart cherry flavor. Not overly sweet, but on the sweet side.

Drinkability: Tasty but too strong to have much at the bar.

Congrats to Surly on anniversary #3! This beer reminds me somewhat of a Belgian quad, with its sweet, tart, and fruity flavors. Good stuff.

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Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into ABR 2011 glass by Todd Haug.

Clear and dark brown with medium head that fell into a nice collar. Aroma is honey and ginger; sweet and spicy. Tastes sweet at front with plenty of honey flavor with malts in the background and little hops. Finishes very clean. Well carbonated with a medium body.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft. 2 year old keg at Common Roots on 10/27/10. Poured into a pint glass a dark brown rust color with a light tan 2 finger head that slowly recedes. Sweet fruit aromas waft from the nose like cinnamon apples and cider. Medium mouthfeel. Very, very sweet! The honey is very evident in the taste along with apple and fig fruit flavors. Almost mead like in taste. Nice lace as I drink this one down. Overall, very enjoyable but pretty sweet so if you don't like sweet beer, I would stay away from this one.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was long gone in the cities, but I found some by chance last night when having dinner at the Groveland Tap.

A: Beautiful mahogany with amber hues. Very little carbonation.

S: Really not a lot at first. I let the beer warm up and thne I got some strong sweet caramel aromas backed up by a nice honey aroma. There was a slight herbal character and some fruitiness as well. I did get a hint of acidic almost vinegar like aroma at the end.

T: Sweetness predominates, but not just honey here. There is a vast complexity of flavors with honey, caramel, toffee, plum, and a slight fruitiness. You do get some mild alcohol flavors, but it adds to the complexity. Faint hops in the end that balance the brew out nicely. Very flavorfull and unique. Almost belgian quad-esque. Somewhat wine like.

M: Really quite light bodied and thin. Not what I was expecting, but still pretty darn nice. No carbonation felt.

D: This was a very interesting beer (braggot) to say the least. I've had mead, I've had beer, but never a braggot. I thought I would hate it, but I really liked it. I may have to brew one of these sometime. This is a definite must try for any Surly fan or anyone who is adventurous.

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Three from Surly Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 89 ratings.
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