The Bruery

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Strong Ale - American
3.21 | pDev: 28.35%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Cacaonut is a special treat. A rare and secret blend of several different barrel aged beers that we've pulled from our cellar along with toasted coconut and cacao nibs from San Francisco's TCHO.

The inspiration for this beer were the unique flavors of a chocolate dipped coconut macaroon. After polishing off a few of those dense, sweet and delicious, coconut treats, Patrick started thinking through the flavor profiles of some of our favorite barrel aged beers, deciphering a way to replicate the luscious qualities of that favorite treat. Spice, rich toffee, cocoa and tropical notes blend deliciously and delicately in this newest barrel aged addition to our collection.
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 263 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

1.66/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Throwing down some very abridged notes since its widely known that this is infected. I recently opened this with friends just to see.

It appears clear copper in color with no head formation. It smells comically of sauerkraut - very tangy abd vegetal and not in a good way.

It tastes sharply sour with faint coconut and vanilla essence fighting to be found. Light in body with light carbonation, it is to be avoided.

Dec 13, 2016
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Phil-Fresh from California

2.19/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2013 Bottle.

A: Bittersweet chocolate, some malt sweetness, followed by moderate off-sourness.

A: Brown color with a slight amber hue, totally clear with a very slight almost nonexistent head.

T: Light bitttersweet chocolate, mixed with malt sweetness that has a slight buttery (DMS) note, followed by an off-sourness.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: The Bruery some time ago informed customers that Cacaonut may be infected and you could return said bottle, if infection occurred. Unfortunately, I forgot I had said bottle and decided it was time to try and just hope it wasn’t infected because it’s long past the window of getting any money back. No dice. Some beers are still drinkable after being infected, this is not one of them.

Dec 01, 2015
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pkalix from California

2.82/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

thin, buttery. very aromatic with vanilla and toffee; not much cacao or coconut. taste is thin, sickeningly sweet. overall, a disappointment to me. bottle is "2013 Edition".

Jul 25, 2015
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scottfrie from California

1.64/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

750ml bottle into snifter. Bottled 8/12/13.

A: Pours a cloudy woody brown with an uncharacteristically fizzy off-white head that quickly disappeared.
S: Dominating tart notes of infection mixed with strong boozy alcohol make the nose on this pretty rough. Smells of tart berries, rubbing alcohol, caramel and mild leather.
T: Very tart notes upfront of red un-ripened berries followed by butterscotch, coconut, and powdery chocolate. Unfortunately, the finish then turns sour again with notes of lemon and harsh vinegar mixed with sweet caramel, boozy barrel, hazelnut, and candied raisins. There is an infected tartness lingering long after the swallow.
M: Fizzy and distracting infected carbonation, still a ton of boozy warmth, full body, and a very tart, slick and tingly mouthfeel.
O: One of the worst infections I’ve sampled. This beer was a hot mess. It’s too bad, because other than the strong booze presence, the non-infected flavors make it seem like this would have been a pretty decent beer.

Jul 19, 2015
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

2.2/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Burgundy body with a thin beige collar. Aromas of ripe fruit, alcohol. Lime zest and lime juice with overpowering alcohol. Coconut, cacao, vanilla? All lost. Overly tannic and completely out of balance. At least it's super strong and in a 750mL bottle. Can't drink this. Failure.

Apr 01, 2015
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nrs207 from Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is all over the place because it's completely infected.

A - Fairly dark brown, but not anywhere near a stout. More like a brown ale.

S - Wow, this is terrible. Smells like a rotting dumpster.

T - Oddly not that bad. The more of it I drink, the worse it gets, but the original taste was fairly decent. It drinks more like a sour stout now, but it's not that unpleasant.

M - Actually pretty solid. For how high of an ABV this has, this drinks really easily.

O - I wish I could've had this as they intended. It's incredible gone at this point, and I drainpoured most of it, but it surprisingly wasn't as bad as I expected.

May 07, 2014
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ari32 from Georgia

4.45/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. It had a murky, dark brown color. The nose was all cacao and coconut without any sour notes... so far so good. The taste was pure heaven; perfectly balanced flavors of cacao and coconut with some caramel and a slight booziness. It had a medium-to-full moutfeel. There was just the slightest undertone of tartness to it, but nothing even close to sour, and definitely not infected. This beer is absolutely delicious.

It's rather unfortunate to see all the low scores for this beer, but it's expected with how many infected bottles were distributed. At least some of the bottles aren't infected, and my lucky ass just so happened to get one (thank you, Beer Gods). I only hope that everyone who had an infected bottle is able to taste the true product at some point and time. It's definitely worth it.

Mar 19, 2014
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.14/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Pours a deep bronze, very hazy with some floaters in suspension, and a thin white head that fades. Minimal visible carbonation. Not terribly pretty.

S: Toasted malts, moderate cacao. I don't get any coconut at first, but when the beer warms up somewhat the coconut aroma does show up. Sweet aroma.

T: Sweet chocolate, coconut, and lightly toasted malts, some wood, and a sweet liqueur burn and flavor. Sweet with alcohol heat in hang. NOTE: As it warms over the first five to ten minutes, the problems start to show up. There starts to be a vinegary sourness that, while not overwhelming, is a funky note that shouldn't be here at all. And the acetic qualities increase as the beer sits. Apparently this bottle was affected by The Bruery's self-admitted production issues with this beer.

M: Body on the heavy side, noticeable alcohol but not over-the-top hot, and fairly low carbonation sensation.

O: Even as it was, the beer wasn't awful and it did show promise. If they can figure out a solution, I hope they re-brew this one. But the flavors present just didn't suit any amount of souring - accidental or on purpose.

NOTE: Cracked the second bottle I had directly after, and it was significantly worse (more infected). Both beers had been refrigerated since I got them. Proceed at your own risk.

Mar 17, 2014
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

3.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased in the fall of 2013 from one of the Bruery clubs.

This beer really threw me for a loop when I poured it; the color being light brown and amber when for some reason I thought it would be dark black. Then, the beer was incredibly fizzy and quickly formed a finger thick head over the liquid, only to instantly dissipate leaving nothing. Add to this a large amount of floating sediment, and this beer had me scratching my head. It's not bad to look at as it settles, but I'm not encouraged in the slightest.

After a few good whiffs, I'm even further confused. Isn't this supposed to have coconut and cacao nibs? Why do I only get the tartness of Flanders Brown? I suppose there's some hints of coconut there and something that suggests a macaroon, but that's buried under the sour characteristics. I dunno about this brewski so far.

There are glimmers of hope as I drink this. I'm getting some diverse flavors and sensations, from mouth-puckering sourness to burnt coconut, vanilla, and dark chocolate. There's some sweetness in there that quickly gives way to the sour aggressiveness.

I suppose some folks might enjoy this beer, but for me this is the second bust in a row (especially given the $20 pricetags!) after the Or Xata did nothing to impress me. Cacaonut sounded delicious in my mind as a stout or imperial stout, but as a sour, it doesn't do much for me. I'm quite disappointed, even if my rating is somewhat generous.

Mar 05, 2014
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alpinebryant from Connecticut

3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a higly carbonated muddy old ale color , caramel and a frothy head around the edges.

S: Aromas of tartness, mild infection that seems to be growing more tart as time goes by. Mild coconut in nose, along with some hot booze and plenty of sweetness.

T: Well the tartness is definitely more present than the last time I had tried this but I dont think it is anywhere near 'drain pour' at least in my instance opening this bottle today. Maybe some bottles are worse than others. In any case, there is a lot of the tartness present from the cacao nibs, a buttery slick taste along with a nutty aftertaste from the toasted coconut. Some light cardboard mixing with oak and nuts. The final aftertaste I think is most harsh when compared to some of the other flaws here, but mainly what I am left with in the end is an earthy tart taintness.

M: Mouthfeel is medium to thick in body with a slight tongue tingle.

O: This is my second bottle opened of Cacaonut and I was really excited to see this release when it was first announced. Later as the infection news was spread, I still thought I liked the one bottle I had opened enough to warrant not asking for a refund for the two others I had in the cellar. I still feel that way now. There is definite room for improvement but I think this one is overall still a beer with potential for next year.

Feb 16, 2014
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bierdeflanders from California

3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

S: smells slighty sour, some vanilla and oak, not very aromatic.

A: reddish brown in color

T: sweet, carmel, alcohol, some nuttiness

M: medium body, with nice carbonation

O: i think this beer had some potential, but i think there is to strong of a alcohol note and the beer was starting to sour.

Feb 09, 2014
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bcerv-ca from California

1.09/5  rDev -66%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Previously tried Cacaonut on draft at the Bruery, the weekend after the Black Tuesday release. Good beer. Sweet, boozy, and finished with a slight tartness.

Opened a bottle tonight and was disgusted. As I poured this into a glass, I could hear that it was highly carbonated (imagine the sizzle after quickly pouring a Coca-Cola into a glass). Appearance was a dark caramel color with strange bands of discoloration and dark floating chunks. Smelled sour with a hint of sweetness. Tasted sour, acidic, and highly carbonated. IMMEDIATE DRAIN POUR.

Back in November when I tried this on tap, it was a solid beer. This bottle was the WORST beer I have ever tasted. I know the Bruery admitted this beer was bad and offered credit, but that doesn't help me forget how putrid this brew was. Stay away from CACAONUT.

I will now be wary of any new Bruery releases.

Jan 25, 2014
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.59/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split with rudzud.

Light fizzy quickly disappearing head light lacing hazy chestnut reddish brown color.

Nose has faint goodness but other not so good. Nice cocoa nib aroma with flashes of bad, nutty, little decayed coconut peanut butter and plenty of buttery oak diacetyl like. Lots of vanilla bean and almost into earthy coffee bean. Mild sour fruit thing and chestnuts.

Taste starts very buttery, buttery oak, peanut butter, diacetyl, pretty sweet, nice alcohol kick with some warmth and slight tingle. Little buttery coconut and chestnuts, mild peanut butter flavor, nice mellow barrel character with a long vanilla flavor. Mild bitterness, and again an earthy coffee bean flavor probably from the vanilla and coconut. Finish is sticky and flemmy, semi sweet and nuts vanilla and little barrel with caramel malt characters.

Mouth is med to fuller bod with little carb some booze.

Overall mixed, again this hadflashes of what could have been a great beer, but some diacetyl and buttery notes, some disappointment too, could have been great, but oh well. Another one I hope they do again and get it right next time.

Jan 10, 2014
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HoppyKilaMonster from Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours with a small ammout of head that fades quickly, leaving no lacing. It is a medium copper color. I was expecting a deeper color.

S- This smells like it is going to be sour. That typical Bruery sour smell wafts from the glass. It is followed by a light barrel/oak, and vanilla.

T- Tart. Then the cacao nibs come through.

M-The carbonation seems right. The 15% or so is hidden very well, only slight undertones of alcohol.

O- This is definatly an interesting take on an old ale. Not my favorite.

Jan 09, 2014
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.59/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice reddish brown hue with a thin one finger head that fades to leave thin wisps.

S - Aromas of lots of vanilla, cocoa nibs, light coconut, definitely some buttery barrel notes.

T - Taste is awfully sweet and buttery, light cocoa nibs, loads of vanilla, alcohol is hidden nicely though. Definitely had potential, just the damn buttery barrel notes. A shame.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, hard to get past the buttery feel.

O - Overall this beer had tons of potential but just had too much diacetyl notes to really make it enjoyable.

Jan 08, 2014
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localbrewer from Florida

1.55/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

A - Poured tan - brown with lots of haze/chunks

S - Very light oak aroma with an apparent tartness, smells rancid & spoiled. Chocolate & coconut not very noticeable.

T - Overwhelmingly tart. Bourbon, chocolate, & coconut not detected through the sourness.

M - Medium body. Dry. Moderate carbonation.

O - Huge disappointment. Drain pour

Jan 05, 2014
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

3.94/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 12.3.13
Bottled 09/12/13

A - Pours a murky medium brown with an active tan head that is gone pretty fast.

S - Tons of bourbon, sweet toffee, a touch of coconut.

T - A sweet bourbon-coconut mix. A touch hot and sweet.

D - Lower carbonation and a heavy body.

O - A bit overly sweet. Good flavors, but a bit much. No signs on infection in this bottle, the second bottle was tart and infected. I will score the good one.

Dec 30, 2013
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada

2.32/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Bottled 9/12/13. Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Poured dark brown with an amber glow around the edges and along the bottom. Lots of carbonation on the pour and a thin layer of cream coloured head.

S - A big charred oak aroma with an apparent tartness. Some chocolate and a light coconut presence. Not what I expected.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee notes with a massive tartness that is extremely distracting. Light chocolate and toasted coconut flavours come through. Massively tannic. This is an absolute mess. The tartness and astringent tannic notes completely overpower the other elements of the beer. This ended up being 90% drain poured.

M - Medium body. Dry. Moderate carbonation.

O - This was massively disappointing. This was billed as a decadent/dessert beer not a sour beer and I think it was much closer to the latter than the former. Very disappointing from the Bruery. I wish I could get a refund on my other bottles.

Dec 21, 2013
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alaimoa from Connecticut

3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting beer but taste is choppy and feels a bit thin
Pours brownish red no head, smell best part with bourbon, toffee, burnt sugar and a bit of fruit funk. Taste is a bit of tart fruit, vanilla bourbon and boozy heat. It is pretty hot and seems choppy without a smooth flow of flavors

Dec 08, 2013
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mdfb79 from New York

3.81/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 11/25/13 notes. Bought one bottle of this in the RS this year. Bottled on 09/12/13, poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a deep reddish brown color with one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of white chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, toffee, caramel malts, sugar, coconuts, toasted malts, bread, burnt malts, pineapples, fruity malts, and cake. Nose is spot on to the label with a ton going on. Very complex and I dig it a lot.

t - Tastes of pineapples, tropical fruits, tart fruit, caramel malts, toffee, white chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, toasted malts, coconut, and jam. Taste is a big step down from the nose for me as the taste is way fruitier and doesn't integrate everything as well as the nose did. Little bit tart and fruity.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation. Not much alcohol heat at all which is awesome, but the body is a bit thinner than I was expecting, so they even each other to a 4 in mouthfeel for me.

o - Overall this was an itneresting beer, but the taste didn't quite make it. The alcohol is very well hidden, though I would have liked a little bit thicker of a body on it, and the nose was just awesome; tons of different flavors that mixed together perfectly. Reminded me a little bit of White Chocolate and Chocolate Rain in the nose. The taste however, was very fruity and a bit tart, and just didn't work as well as the nose did. Worth checking out and it is interesting, but would recommend sharing a bottle with people.

Nov 26, 2013
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No head or lacing on a brownish maroon body. Aroma has a lot of sulphur, almost sewage like with rum, coconut milk, caramel and only hints of cocoa. Flavor follows with strong coconut water/milk rather than the sweet shredded coconut with additional notes of caramel, brown sugar and vanilla. Medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Not my favorite beer but as usual these innovative Bruery beers are worth trying

Nov 21, 2013
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AgentMunky from New York

3.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a footed glass. Vintage 2013. From notes. Reviewed 15 November 2013.

A: Looks like muddy water. Opaque and gross.

S: Smells like brandy! Rich, sweet, and fruity. Vaguely tropical

T: That'll put the hair on your chest. Super strong. Kind of tart. Too boozy for me. A bit thin. A bit sour. Finish is sort of...acrid?

M: Flattish. Meh.

O: interesting beer but not great. Wouldn't pay loads of money for it.

Nov 19, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.71/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to HopHeadJim for sharing this one.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Tiny pieces of what I assume are coconut flakes float on top as well. Smell is of malt, coconut, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and slight cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour caramel and coconut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great smell but the tartness in the flavors definitely detracts from its drinkability.

Nov 18, 2013
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timc100 from Illinois

3.67/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The sum is not greater than its parts. This is a mess, but a really enjoyable one at that. Over the top and imbalanced, but undeniably enjoyable.

Not a great looking beer - pours a murky, dirty ruby/light brown with very minimal head. Aroma is incredible sweet and boozy, overpowering any nuances. Get the sweet vanilla, chocolate, and coconut in there, but do not immediately think "coconut!" by any means. Some booze soaked stone fruits and leather - a lot of the old ale comes through. Taste is huge - very hot and boozy and nearly cloyingly sweet, drinks hard. Big sticky finish of jammy/tangy dark fruits soaked in bourbon, vanilla/coconut candied sweetness.

Nov 16, 2013
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WorldWideStout from Pennsylvania

2.63/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Looks nice enough, with a dark, but not too dark, brown body, and a very white head that actually lasts for a little bit, despite the high abv.

S: Smells a little...tart. Not tropical notes as it says on the bottle, but tart. Also get some caramel and chocolate.

T: This tastes like the goddamned new version of White Chocolate. Which means that it has some green apple tanginess, and then this rich, cocoa butter taste, which might go really well with some sweeter flavors, but not with tartness. The alcohol is not as well masked as it is in the Bruery's other heavy hitters.

M: Could be thicker, and carbonation could be a little less for the high alcohol.

O: This beer was a real disappointment to the maltmaven and sweet-tooth that is yours truly. The tanginess ruined everything, not that there were tons of complex flavors discernible behind it. My initial concern was that it would taste too similar to Melange 3 - now I think to myself, "if only."

Nov 13, 2013
Cacaonut from The Bruery
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 263 ratings