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Figgy Pudding | Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant

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BA SCORE
89
very good
47 Reviews
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Figgy PuddingFiggy Pudding
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
Oregon, United States
block15.com

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Inspired by a 16th century English Christmas cake our Figgy Pudding is brewed with English Pale & Specialty malts & molasses and fermented with London ale yeast. After fermentation we matured Figgy Pudding in brandy barrels before conditioning with mission figs, Ceylon cinnamon and nutmeg."

64 cases of 750ml bottles produced in November 2010.

Re-released in November 2011.

Added by msubulldog25 on 11-19-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
167
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
23.13%
 
 
Wants:
156
Gots:
40
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 167
Photo of bbb099
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep mahogany brown color. Nice and foamy mocha-colored head.

S - Sweet and fruity aroma. Figs, molasses, and toffee.

T - Syrupy sweet taste of dark fruits. A little amount of bourbon and licorice.

M - Small amount of carbonation, medium to full bodied.

O - Incredibly sweet beer. Great taste for the high amount of abv.

 337 characters

Photo of mjyoung
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bbb099. Split w/ scottfrie and bbb099

A: Pours a dark brown with a thin off-white head.

S: Whoa. Sweet sweet beer. A lot of molasses and dark fruit. There may be a bit of spice there as well (cinnamon?) but not getting too much of it. A tad too sweet for me, but other than that it was good.

T: Molasses and dark fruit, which I'm presuming are the figs. Quite good, but a little overwhelmingly malty for me.

M: Syrupy but with appropriate carb. Nothing special, but good.

O: Good, but it caught me a bit off guard.

 532 characters

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany color with a leather-hued head.

Smell: The nose is interesting, rich with figs and spices, not nearly as barrel forward as I expected. It's rather earthy, moderately sweet and malty, with a pleasant molasses overtone. Cinnamon and nutmeg are noticed but thankfully don't overwhelm. It's faintly metallic when cold, but that dissipates as it warms and the barrel shines through a bit more.

Taste and mouthfeel: As the nose implies, this is much more about figs, toasted malt and spices than barrel. Figs lend a gentle earthy sweetness that's quite nice, while spices and oak contribute light tannins and astringency that balance out the malt a bit. It's a sweet beer, but not too sweet, nor is it terribly heavy. The spices feel heavier on the palate than they do on the nose, but aren't harsh. The finish brings warming alcohol and a slight tannic bite, leaving lingering flavors of fig and molasses.

Overall: Pretty good, unique and easy to drink given the strength and richness.

 1,017 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Starrdogg for this tick, served in a snifter. At the time of this review, this is the #5 beer on the English Strong Ale list, quite a nice little beer too. I enjoyed it a lot.

Beer is brown mostly clear with a decent little head of off white bubbles, some lacing, relatively low retnetion, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, fruity, dark jam and figs. Some spice too.

Beer is medium in body and a little boozy, sweet and a thinning alcohol on the back end. The overall experience of the beer is nice, a little biscuit and a little malt sugar / syrup. A nice strong ale for sure, I'd have it again.

 613 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. Thanks to Dunt for bringing this over.

My pour has a dark ruby brown color with a moderate sized tan foam. The head fades to a small film and a ring around the edge.

Caramel, nutmeg, toffee, and spices contribute most of the aroma and flavor. Some bourbon, cherry, toasted bread, and soft butter add some additional flavor notes. A bit of molasses sweetness comes in as it warms. The body is on the fuller side of medium, with a smooth, creamy, carbonation.

Everything about this beer is above average but not great. There are a fair number of flavors working well together, but it drinks a little bit light and has a light body. If the flavor was a little stronger, with a fuller body, I would like it better.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Richard.

Pours deep amber in color with a finger of off-white head. A slightly sweet aroma with a fair bit of oxidation. There’s a nice bit of toffee and caramel, maybe some brown sugar. A little underwhelming. The flavor is good, but not great. There’s a mild vanilla and oak flavor with the same type of sweet, malty notes of the aroma: caramel and toffee. Maybe a hint of dark fruits. Medium body with smooth carbonation.

 454 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to starrdogg for making this possible. Served in a snifter.

Pours a medium brown color with a good off-white head and a thin collar. The nose brings some nice fruity notes plus a good dosing of spice. Moderate amount of barrel character in the background. The flavor has some stone and dark fruits plus a nice bit of spice and spirit. Medium-full body with a bit of booze. Interesting and fairly tasty.

 410 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to Jason for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a deep chestnut brown amber color. Some good tan froth and lace.

(S)- Plenty of spice in this. Lots actually. Some rich bread-like yeast and molasses with rich fig, but man, they sure put the spice cabinet in this.

(T)- A nice rich profile very similar to the smell, though thankfully not nearly has heavy in the spice department. Lots of fig and dried fruits with a raisin-like molasses malt. Finishes slightly chalky with subtle woody oak and brandy.

(M)- A smooth/balanced carbonation level and a fairly good balance to it overall. Not as thick or dense as I was expecting; in fact, its really quite thin. The 11% ABV is well integrated though.

(D)- Overall, this is an entertaining and interesting beer; great for the winter season. It is mostly well integrated together, though I think it could use a bit more of a thicker mouthfeel.

 937 characters

Photo of MBrausen
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dougofthefuture for holding this tasting!

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A. Pours a deep red pearl, very rich color, has a 3mm foam. Even after sitting for a few minutes, it retained a nice thick head.

S. Smells of toffee, chocolate, sugary and fruit

T. Tastes of light toffee, a chocolatey sugar, very noticable lactose, a strong overtone of figs, and almost no taste of the brandy barrel.

M. Medium-thin body, wet initially, with a wet finish that is slightly dry

O. A okay beer, nothing mind blowing or impressive. I really wish you could taste the barrel or the brandy. There was no hint of being a BA beer. A simple, thin beer, just not what you would expect. Something I would try if it was sitting around, but not something I would ever go out of my way to trade for.

 796 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 cork and cage 750 mL bottle shared by Matt served in a random snifter.

Pours a murky dark amber-brown with a short tan head that fades to a frothy ring. Aroma was my favorite part of the beer; subtle blend of oak, cinnamon, apple, plum, nutmeg, molasses and all things Christmas. Flavor is much drier and less sweet than expected. Cinnamon is fairly strong though out and cuts the sweetness of the brandy barrel nicely. Plums, figs, apples and light cherry fruit flavors throughout and a dry, oaky finish. Medium thick body, smooth and creamy throughout. Not nearly as spicy or fruity (or more generally, novel) as imagined, but the balance and subtle alcohol presence this fresh is impressive.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Absolutely gorgeous 750 brown Belgian-style bottle, corked and caged...2011 vintage. Really stoked to finally get to try this. Huge thanks to my awesome wife for nabbing this for my birthday!

Appearance: Murky deep garnet brew, capped with a nice light tan cap with good retention.

Smell: Wow, smells quite a bit like the dessert, actually. The first thing you get is a fruity brandy booze note, followed by a bit of dry oak, dark, sticky, juicy figs, and dark caramel. No spice aromas, which is kind of surprising. Still, quite pleasant.

Taste: Not really what I expected. I'm not getting a real strong fruit (i.e. fig) presence here, nor much at all in the way of spice, though several spices were used. This tastes like a really nice oak-aged English Old Ale. Some sweet, caramelly dark malt, nice dry oaky notes with fruity brandy and a bit of leather. Just a bit of sticky dark fig in the background and a hint of dusty cocoa on the finish, but the booze and oak keep it way in the back. A bit bitter and boozy on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full

Overall: Not at all what I expected; this is not a sticky, fruit-forward, spicy Winter Warmer. Instead, this is a slightly fruity, barrel-aged Old Ale in the English tradition. The barrel-aging here has been done really well. A bit of vinous/dark fruit emerges the longer this sits out (i.e. room temp). Gonna hang on to my other bottle of this until next year, to see if the booze retreats a bit and the fruity/spice notes emerge a bit more.

At this point, at $15, I'd give this a B-B+

 1,563 characters

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to joe for hooking me up with some block 15 brews. I've wanted to try this one for awhile. This review is based off the newest release - 2011 corked ad caged 750ml bottle format. Shares with friends and poured into a snifter. The brew appears an amber brown with ruby clarity through the body. A finger of tan head fades leaving webby patterns of lacework on the glass. A light swirl brings up a yellowish tan froth. Orange clarity is noted around the edges.

The smell has a dark sweetness like molasses mixed with prunes/plums and some mild spices that include vanilla. It has a very rum-like character about it. Some rindy fruits are noted towards the back of the aroma that were previously surpressed.

The taste is mildly oaky and includes some cinnamon spice overtop of a sweetness of plum, prune, raisin and molasses. The hops are evident with a bit of grassy and herb quality. Overall this has quite a spirit-infused alcohol character throughout. Some toasty caramel to burnt grain flavoring comes out more as the brew warms. Despite the rum alcohol aspect, it also has something reminescent of orange liquor.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest to high level of carbonation that gets very frothy inside the mouth. It contains a nice arrangement of flavor but wasn't exactly what I was expecting. It is certainly worth a try and overall is quite good for what it is.

 1,389 characters

Photo of nmbr0ne
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter from bottle.

Appearance: Mahogany color with a lot of creamy, off-white head. Excellent amount of lacing as well.

Smell: Smells pretty spicy including hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Doesn't smell a lot like brandy. Smells sweet with fruits dipped in caramel. There was also a strong metallic smell that went away while the beer sat for a little bit. The metallic smell was very off-putting.

Taste: Pretty sweet with not a lot of brandy present from the barrels. Fruity flavor overall.

Mouthfeel: Excellent amount of carbonation. Light to medium-bodied. Has drinkability, but definitely not a lawn-mower beer. I still consider it a dessert beer, but not as delicious as I expected.

Overall: Really nice strong ale, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed about the weak brandy presence.

 819 characters

Photo of robbrandes
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a tulip.

pours a hazy deep brown, amber hints. minimal, tan head, recedes to a thin film. nose is dark fruit, plenty of woodsy-brandy, just a whiff of spice.
taste - big malts upfront, the figs come through in perfect balance with the warm alcohol. reminds me of a well-done belgian dark.

i'm always nervous about spiced beers, but this is exceptionally well done.

 385 characters

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark red, almost like craberry juice when held to the light. Alot of off white sticky head, almost 3 fingers worth.

S - Caramel, charred figs, burnt marshmallow.

T - Sticky sweet with marshmallow and fig all up front. A brandy like alcohol warmth is very present and complements the beer nicely. Sugary sweetness chases the beer down the palate as I swallow.

M - Cloying sweetness broken up by ginger ale/Champagne like carbonation.

O - Perfect beer for the holiday season. Might need to stock up on this one. I'm afraid of what would happen once the alcohol and carbonation were to fade. This beer would become a sticky mess.

 640 characters

Photo of dwaz
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Robbrandes for sending this, 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with small white head

S: Strong smell of sweet cherry and figs with slight whiff of brandy that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms

T: Just like the smell, strong taste of sweet cherry and figs upfront with a nice brandy flavor on the back end, a nice sipper. Didn't really pick up any cinnamon or nutmeg flavors

M: Medium carbonation and body

O: A really nice treat for Xmas morning, gave to my wife as a present and she wanted to open it immediately. Fortunately for me, she shared the bottle and it didn't disappoint, great Christmas beer. Again, thanks Rob for making this happen.

 678 characters

Photo of Siggy125
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks oregone for this one.
2010 vintage poured form its 750ml bottle, shared with a group of buddies while doing a Christmas and winter warmer bottle share.

Mirky caramel brown in color, almost no carbonation, maybe a few lonely bubbles.

Smells of dried fruits, mainly figs, baking spices and a subtle brandy booziness on the nose. Pleasand aromas.

The palate presence very similar to the nose but the figs and heavy malt sweetness are very prominent. Flavors of fruitcake, cookie dough and brandy follow. The abv is noticeable but not as heavy as the abv may indicate.

This is a very unique brew and serves well as a winter warmer on the right occasion. Not sure it lived up to the hype for me but very glad I got to try it.

 734 characters

Photo of corylew
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the '11 on tap

Pours muddy brown with a thin tan head that forms into a ring around the tulip glass halfway down.

Smells fruity with a malty toasty nose that swims amongst molasses and spice.

Tastes malty foremost. Lots of spice and fruit characteristics. A slight sweetness but only in a flavor aspects not in density.

Mouthfeel follows Belgian guidelines. Spritzy.

Overall this beer was a crowd favorite. Packed with flavor yet light. Absolutely wonderful.

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Photo of oregone
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Side by side draft comparison of 2010 to 2011.

Note: I have high hopes (and expect) that some of the currently stronger spice notes, predominantly cinnamon, in the '11 will mellow with some time leaving the greater fruit presence in that year to shine as it does, albeit to a lesser extent, in the '10.

A: '11 visibly darker and running towards molasses
'10: Caramel or dark honey. Good clarity.
Both pour with a solid finger+ of creamy off-white head that recedes to persistent broken tufts of cloudy foam. Excellent lacing.

S: '11: Cinnamon and baking spice up front with a big push of candied fruit and fig preserves. Light hint of alcohol enhances the spiciness. Some rich oak/vanilla notes apparent.
'10: Subdued spiciness from cinnamon and nutmeg with a lift again from the light alcohol note. Fruit is less caramelized/preserved and more simply along the lies of 'ripe.' Malt backbone more apparent in a reticent bready character. Hints of spicy barrel treatment.

T: '11: Spicy up front. Cinnamon dominant with a light sharpness balanced by the strong fruit again. Buckwheat honey, dried fig, very dark caramel or molasses, and some brandy-soaked raisin apparent. Soft oaken notes with hints of vanilla again.
'10: Subtle spice. More along a vague hint of pumpkin pie spice than anything distinctive. Ripe to over-ripe figs, some dark caramel, hints again of a dark honey. Golden raisin and some molasses..

M: '11: Moderately viscous with a good medium/full body. Carbonation is more creamy in appreciation than crisp. Very smooth, and stears away from sticky in favor of rich.
'10: Very similar.

O: I found the current spiciness of the '11 to detract from the experience to some extent, as did some others in our group. However, others next to us, including brewery/pub staff seemed to disagree. Obviously tolerance of it is a matter of taste largely. There is a very nice richer fruit and altogether 'darker' fruit and caramel character to the '11 that bodes well for it's development. Not having had the '10 at the time of it's release, I can't say whether they both will follow similar evolutionary paths in regards to the spice, but they are quite visibly different beers otherwise.
I've averaged my impressions for the two, and if reviewing the '10 alone would have given a higher score, but again, my expectation is that the '11 will evolve nicely and ultimately end up as the better brew. I hope. ;)

 2,427 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2/21/2011

Snifter.

A: Orangish crimson with a big frothy beige head. Scattered lacing.

S: Really aromatic. Big fig and molasses notes with well integrated cinnamon and nutmeg. A little caramel and brown sugar accompany faint plum notes, brandy, and a little leather.

T: High level of sweetness with big fig and molasses notes accompanying a light brandy profile. Spices kick in midpalate and carry through the finish, cinnamon and nutmeg. Moderate booze heat. Slight caramel note.

M: Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: A very complex beer that I liked quite a bit in small quantities.

 644 characters

Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station the other night.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with very good head retention and nice lacing. The nose is likewise impressive, showcasing considerable molasses, caramel, cherry and vanilla. This beer smells rich and sweet, and I get the impression it will likely be pretty potent as well. As good as this beer smells, it tastes even better and is more complex on the palate. There is considerable vanilla and fig flavor, along with the caramel and molasses. The flavor components seemed to improve and become more complex as the beer warmed in the glass, and I picked up some sweet melon, hazelnut and butter as well. The beer is pretty viscuous, with the carbonation dialed down fairly low. That seemed to add to the rich, soft, heavy cream mouthfeel to this beer. While the beer is not at all hot, heavy or tiring on the palate, you can tell the alcohol is definitely up there, and that along with the sweetness makes this beer very much a sipper.

Glad I had a chance to try this one. This is really a very nice Winter Warmer, and would probably not be something I would enjoy any other time except in the dead of Winter. Regardless, this is an impressive effort from the folks at Block 15.

 1,232 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reiew from notes:

Murky brown color. Ring of foam around the edge of the glass. No lacing, some legs that recede into the glass after being swirled. 3
Smells of candied dried fruits. Some buttery brandy, touch of vanilla oak, hints of alcohol. The fig candied dried fruits steal the show in the nose. 4
The taste follows nose, but much more barrel butter brandy notes than in the nose. I almost get a touch of pineapple as well (brett?) 4.5
The mouthfeel is smooth creamy and finishes dry though it has a round and sweet body mid palate. 4
A challenging and tasty beer. Quite nice. 4

 584 characters

Photo of djbreezy
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at Belmont Station in Portland, OR.

appearance - dark cherry and brown in appearance, short white head, streaks of lacing

smell - spice, fig, brandy

taste - fig and brandy intertwined with aromatic spices, very complex

mouthfeel - medium/full bodied, quite warm

drinkability - such a complex feat of delicious brew, a sipper's beer

 349 characters

Photo of squaremile
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Lucky to try this elusive brew. Pours a ruby/dark brown, head stays around the edge with no lacing. Smell is vanilla, figs, tobacco, and booze. Taste is excellent. Figs, apricot, vanilla, maple syrup, and leather dominate, with some alcohol bite and mild bitterness to balance an enduring sweetness. The mouthfeel is where this shines, exceptional medium body and smoothness. Drinkability is good with the booziness and the abv preventing more consumption. I would love to have a bottle of this aged. The best Block 15 beer I've had.

 533 characters

Photo of boMD
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8oz pour at The Hop & Vine. As far as I know, one of the only, if not only few kegs to hit Portland.

Poured hazy/cloudy amber-honey with a thin white head that kept a consistent ring around the edge of the glass.

Nose was bready, well spiced, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and light fruits. The initial flavors started out malty, very sweet, toasty and nutty, but really turned boozy and hot towards the finish. Definitely a brandy kick to it. One to two years would do wonders for this brew. Other notes of vanilla, apples, bitter-sweet molasses, and ripe fruits. The yeast played like champagne, creating a very dry finish and a bit of carbonation on the tongue.

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Figgy Pudding from Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
4.02 out of 5 based on 167 ratings.
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