Mercy | Ale Asylum

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Brewed by:
Ale Asylum
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Belgian-style Grand Cru is a full bodied winter warmer. A slightly spicy aroma and flavors of dark fruit and caramel are harmonious with the classic Belgian-style finish.

Added by spointon on 11-30-2008

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 143
Photo of martyl1000
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light brown pour into a tulip glass, with an off-white fluffy creamy head.

Banana taffy hits the nose first, plus booze and rye bread.

Not very complex in the mouth. Caramel malt, honey, and fruit-cake sweetness. Some indeterminate spice. Stone fruit presence, dried fruit, prune, date. Alcohol wafts on the breath in a lilting brightness, keeping things refreshing.

Medium-full bodied, creaminess, cut by med-high carbonation. Lovely mouthfeel. Serious body but still crisp.

It doesn't measure up to Gulden Draak or La Terrible or Brasserie des Rocs. But at $12 a six pack, it's perfectly serviceable, even pleasurable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fiery apricot orange that is almost dark enough to be considered burnt orange. A massive mousse-like crown of golden ecru colored foam was produced on the pour, melts in slow motion and deposits more than a smattering of suds as it does so. With respect to the appearance, this beer could be any of a dozen different styles.

The aroma follows the look... in that it's darker than pale (BSPA) and more pale than dark (BSDA). Ale Asylum calls Mercy a Grand Cru, which says next to nothing about the style. To me, it smells like a Belgian strong amber ale. Quadrupel would work too. Plenty of fruit and spice from the yeast allows the above score to be chosen with no qualms whatsoever.

While it doesn't give Belgium's best a serious run for their money, Mercy Grand Cru is tasty stuff and is a wonderful effort from an American craft brewery that probably doesn't have much experience with beer of this sort. Authenticity is something that I always look for in a Belgian-style ale. This seasonal has it in spades.

Mucho malt holds down the bottom end with plenty of ballast. Toasted bready and steely caramel dominates and adds a respectable sweetness. For my money, a darker direction would have been preferable. Rather than apricots and brandy-soaked peaches, figs and dates (or even anise and raisins) would have been killer. It's a testament to the beer's quality that I'm still enjoying the hell out of it.

The brewer has stated that this is the highest gravity ale that he's ever brewed. I believe it. The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium-full and is as polished glassy smooth as they come. Perfect carbonation doesn't hurt either.

Warming *almost* elevates Mercy Grand Cru to classic status. Ale Asylum kicks out some pretty impressive beer, so maybe I shouldn't be quite so surprised that this Belgian-style <something> is so impressively delicious. This is one of those times when I regret not having come home with more than a single bottle.

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Photo of bound4er
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Ale Asylum beer - talk about making a great first impression. This beer pours light brown with ruby highlights. I got about 1.5 fingers of head that faded to a well covered foam.
Smells yeasty, fruity (black cherry) and spicy with a bit of C2H5OH poking through from time-to-time - nicely done. Mercy tastes a lot like it smells with caramel-like malts playing center stage and just a hit of warming alcohol. Medium to medium-heavy in body and low carbonation really gives this beer a round, smooth mouthfeel making it very drinkable. All-in-all well crafted beer. I will definitely be trying more offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Jennifer Street Market in Madison, WI.

Pours a deep shade of rust, with a quickly diminishing white head.

As I poured it, I got hit with a bready yeasty aroma. Upon closer inspection, a sweet candi sugar scent is there as well.

Slightly caramelized sugar flavor, as well as just a brown sugar sweetness. General fruitiness, but can pick out a bit of banana, which surprisingly works here. Alcohol bite is present, but far from overwhelming. Some warm spiciness too. This is like comfort food. I will call it my comfort beer!

Full bodied, slightly chewy, and very smooth. Low carbonation really let's the flavors themselves shine through.

Overall, very drinkable. More than a few though, and I would be at their mercy. Really happy to see their bottling expanded beyond their year round offerings. Keep 'em coming guys, and we'll keep buying them!

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Photo of robbyc1
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light brown, with blood orange highlights. Minimal head, no lacing to speak of, clear looking.

Plenty of dark fruit raisins and plums, with hefty with a touch of Belgian yeast.

Very fruit forward with a spicy hit in the middle, finishes slightly sweet with an almost balanced finish. Definitely figs and raisins with the plums. Warming for sure, but the abv is well hidden, not over the top.

Medium mouthfeel, very soft with limited carbonation. Very drinkable. Becomes very interesting as it warms up. I am liking this as a high abv session beer, if that's possible, could have serveral for sure.

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Photo of Sconnie
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first special release from Ale Asylum. Most of their beers fit pretty well into style categories, but what is "Grand Cru" exactly? Not a style per se, but the biggest beer from a Belgian style brewer. Not sure what to expect then, and excited to see what Dean came up with.
Copper in color, small head, not much lacing on the glass. Smell is caramel with a bit of Belgian phenolic character. Taste is just the same, nice and caramely but dry at the same time, with the Belgian yeast character in there as well. Unlike a lot of Belgian styles, the malt takes center stage in front of the yeast character. Very drinkable.
Great beer, Ale Asylum!

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Photo of wryepicures
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Monroe Street Bistro in Madison. Very excited to be one of the first to try!

Served in a Val-Dieu goblet/chalice, the Mercy looks like a slightly more ruby-tinted version of your average strong ale. Poured a medium head that drank down fast and was thick rather than wispy.

Initially not a huge mouthfeel as I expected from a 'gran cru', but my initial tastes were positive. The smell was amazing; yeasty, sugar, alcohol, good fruitcake...

Tastes: pear, caramel, honey, citrus, mulling spice and slight hops. Not very malty, and not as complex as most Belgians but extremely drinkable for the abv, and the hops prevented it from being too sweet.

Overall a very nice ale, lacking the serious mouthfeel and complexity of some, the Mercy is a very good alternative to jaded palates.

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Photo of Atron67
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had this at the Library on university in Madison, boy is this a solid beer.

pretty heavy beer, it has a full body, but some of that may be the low carbonation which i was unaccostomed to. its a tan bodyied beer, pretty foggy. the yeasty characteristics which are generally pretty large in a dubble, were well under control and very tasty (not a big fan of big yeast flavors.

very smooth, malty, slightly dark, and all around another great beer that ranks up there with the big slick stout, ambergeddon and the rest.

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Photo of spointon
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Brasserie V in Madison, WI on 11/28/2008.

A= This ale arrived in a Chimay goblet and was a lightly cloudy, dark copper color with a 1/2" soapy white head. The head retained well and left lots of sheet lace down my glass.

S= The aromas of this ale were filled with malty caramel sweetness underneath some nice yeasty-musty notes and undisclosed spices.

T= The flavors were if anything, even more complex than the aromas. Lots of caramel malty sweetness in the front end, but that was quickly leveled out by a short burst of hops and a deliciously funky yeast character. I also detected the faint spice quality as I found in the aroma. The finish was more of the same, with barely any of the alcohol apparent. Very nice.

MF= Medium bodied with a relatively soft carbonation for the style. This worked well with the sweet/funk/spice notes though.

D= A really terrific beer. I was visiting Madison from out of town and happened into a bar that had a keg of this. To my great pleasure, I unexpectedly discovered an outstanding beer. Highly recommended!

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Photo of madnick
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this brew on tap at the brewery and have bought a bunch more in the bottle variety as it will soon be gone. I've always been a big fan of the brewmasters creations dating back to the angelic days. pours a nice caramel or copper color. smells quite good with a hint of alcohol. taste is very good..slightly sweet. goes down very well...maybe too well! I would recommend this grand cru for sure..I look forward to more seasonals from the ale asylum!

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Photo of delmarnate
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of Mercy is dark amber with a fluffy, creamy head that takes a while to settle. the carbonation is evident by the dancing bubbles at the top of the head. First sip is exceptionally smooth with a warming alcohol presence. The beer holds up well after numerous servings, never getting tiresome. Very complex mixture of malts and hops. Very spicy. A good beer to swish around your mouth and get the full effect of the flavors.

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Mercy from Ale Asylum
3.72 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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