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Three | Surly Brewing Company

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very good
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 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 mothman
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap last week during Surly Week at Busters on 28th.

Poured into a Surly Pint glass.

Pours a 1/2 finger slightly tanned head. Leaves some lace rings. Color is a dark brown/deep dried cherry color.

Aroma: Grapes, wine like. Dried fruits (cranberries, prunes). Bready malts. Very unique.

Taste: Dried fruits (again, cranberries and prunes). Very wine like. Bready malts. Tarty. A slight amount of booze.

Mouthfeel: Very tarty and a little bitter. Becomes very boozy after a while being on the palate. Full bodied. Slightly high carbonation.

Overall, this is a very hard pint to finish. Interesting, but not something to have all the time. Very unique and worth a shot. Maybe a smaller serving would be helpful.

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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 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 barnzy78
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge - Lisle, IL

Poured a deep chestnut brown with limited transparency when held to the light. Head was foamy and light beige in color. Aromas were malty and sweet with hints of ripe fruit and raisins. Mouth-feel is medium bodied and smooth. Tastes seem to go back and forth between the malt characteristics (mild roasted malt, slightly smoky, dried dark fruits) and the mead (sweet honey with notes of brown sugar). These two aspects compliment each other very nicely. Overall, this was pleasant, but it is very sweet, which limits my max to no more than one. Alcohol was very well concealed - couldn't even tell it was 10%.

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Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sipped glasses of this on-tap at both the Muddy Pig & the Blue Nile over the past week - had to have some Three before it joins One & Two in the world of lost beers.

Three is very dark, just how dark is hard to tell in a murky bar setting. The nose on it is very sweet.

So is the taste. This is what I hoped for when, in my fallow & fickle youth, I tried Leine's Honey Weiss for the first time. Ain't no flippin' honey in that! Here, however, there's honey. I don't know how much, but I wouldn't dare take it outside in the summer. Bees would come from miles around to swim in it.

It's thick. Surly doesn't seem to give a butt about style, but this tasted more along the lines of a Quad to me. Whatever it is, it's tasty, but I'd be hard-pressed to down more than one a night, given the ABV & the fact it takes me about an hour to get through a glass.

Very good beer. Wish I had a bottle to see what some months would do to it, but that's just wishin'.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't know what this was, but have had good experiences with Surly beers so ordered it. The bartender told me it was from a bottle they had in back, although looks like everyone else has had it on tap, so not sure.

A - Dark brown, red on the edges. Small head with a little lacing.

S - No idea what a braggot is, but it smells considerably different than most beers. Thing I really notice with this one is some sort of raisin/honey smell. Fruity.

T - Interesting taste, not sure how it is for the style but it is pretty good. Sharply sweet, with a deep honey/raisin taste and almost some darkly acidic berries. Lighter tasting than it looks. Alcohol does come through on this one which helps cut the sweetness.

M - Sticky and syrupy. Low carbonation.

D - Too sweet and sticky to drink a ton of, but I may just not be accustom to the style. Definately worth having.

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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 LilBeerDoctor
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft. Pours a cloudy brown with no real head. Aroma of sweet sweet malt, beets, and stew-like notes. Flavor of sweet caramel. Very sugary. Not terrible flavor-wise, but so sweet and hard to manage more than a couple sips of. This was my first braggot, and it doesn't seem to be a favorite style of mine...

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Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown/black with a light tannish head and a small amount of lacing. Smell is raisins, honey, plums, malts. Almost reminds me of a Westy 12 on the nose. On the palate, plums, raisins, malts, honey (very similar to the nose). Really wonderful finish that stays on the palate for quite some time after each sip. Medium on mouthfeel, small amount of carbonation (which is perfect). I would probably drink again but I prefer other beers to this, although I enjoyed it.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a backlogged review from notes. Served at The Map Room.

A: pours very dark with an orange-ish hue, thin white head that disappears quickly

S: huge notes of honey which is overwhelming, notes of wild flowers and licorice, lots of sweetness

T: like the nose, the honey is very prominent and dominates the profile, some flowery notes, licorice, molasses, and again more honey. The sweetness is cloying and there is nothing that balances it

MF: this beer is thick and viscous in the mouth and leaves a stickiness on the palate

D: far too sweet for my liking. I'm not well versed on Braggots, but this beer just doesn't work for me

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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 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 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 jwinship83
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at the bavarian lodge. my first "black braggot" so im not really sure what to expect.

A- completely black body with a rather large mocha colored head that proved to be very sticky as well as long lasting.

S- very sweet and malty with lots of fruit, mostly raisin, in the nose. noticeable honey as well.

T- overly sweet. tons of sugary honey and raisin in the taste. no trace of the alcohol, hard to believe that this one is 10% abv.

M- medium to full bodied and pretty creamy. small amount of warming from the alcohol on its way down.

D- an interesting choice for an anniversary beer. not really my thing, but im glad that they went with something different. something i dont think ill try again because its too sweet to drink regularly and a limited release beer.

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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 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 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 younger35
3.09/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had this at the Bavarian Lodge for their special Surly release party. I basically went for the 16 Grit but had to try this too! Drank from a small tulip.

Appearance- Pours a jet ass black with a nice two finger plus head that is thick and creamy. A smallish cap remains the entire duration of the "beer" along with thick rings of creamy lacing.
Smell- Starts with a very lightly charred smokiness with a light sort of honey sweetness that perfumes the background. Lightly floral and uniquely spicy as a light bit of caramel peaks its head in. Some red licorice and candied orange peel are also readily noticeable.
Taste- Starts lightly sweet with a sort of cherry start and that distinctly dry sticky earthiness I get from honey. Figs and a touch of dried raisins add a very dark earthy aspect. Some spiciness (white pepper and cinnamon) add a different aspect that I'm not sure I've experienced before. Finishes slightly sweet, slightly dry with a fruity sort of mellowness.
Mouthfeel- Fairly stout body with some zesty carbonation but unfortunately it gets cloying.
Drinkability- Way to sweet as it makes this brew hard to finish. This is the 3rd Surly brew that I've had that they age on White Ash and honestly I have no idea what the Ash brings to the table. I will say that this is interesting but it's also a Black Braggot (and has no business being on BA but whatever) so it's fun to try odd styles like this. Fun to try but only once.

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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 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 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 Chriscrundwell12
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest 2011. 5 oz pour into a tasting glass.

A- Pours a dark brown color, nice lacing on the side, ½ finger tan head that dissipates to a nice ring around the glass.
S- The aroma is very sweet, brown sugar, candy, dark fruits (raisins, plums) some honey, spice, caramel.
T- The taste is very similar to the aroma, sweet malts, brown sugar, tastes like sweet candy, dark fruits (raisins, plums) spice, honey in the background, this beer tastes very similar to a quad. A little too sweet for my taste.
M- Medium/big mouth feel, decent carbonation, rich and sweet, very drinkable for how high the abv is.
O- The is a decent beer, my least favorite of the anniversary beers, but still enjoyable. This beer was not announced in the program for the Great Taste, so I was very excited to be able to try this brew.

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