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Sucre | The Bruery

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59 Reviews
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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sucré is our sixth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method.

Added by Smarty_Pints on 03-29-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 675
Photo of Switch_omg
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had every variant save congac barrel and there all amazing, the smell and taste are second to none. If your a fan of old ales this is a must try.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy brownish in color. Half a finger of tan head. Looks like an old ale/barleywine is supposed to. Toffee, Candied figs, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, Sherry and oak. Medium bodied. Lower carb. Coats the mouth. Rich and malty. Very delicious.

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Photo of pattycakes8401
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours a deep muddy brown, nearly opaque, with a faint copper/amber tinge and less than a finger of fizzy buff-beige head. The head rapidly fizzles down into several thin splotches and a nice ring on the edges with small amounts of clumpy lacing. All of this slowly fades away over time if you allow the beer to sit.

Smell: Extremely potent and sweet — in fact, as I was cutting away the wax around the edges of the cap before opening the bottle, I could smell it from over a foot away. Tons of bourbon and sweet bourbon oak barrel, caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, maple, and some vanilla up front, all of which is clustered together tightly and permeated with a sweet malty deliciousness; everything overlaps in a very specific way to produce a highly distinct aroma. This heavily pronounced bouquet melds neatly with a rich chocolatey undertone and suggests some sort of light, aerated milk chocolate. All of this is delicately intertwined with hints of cinnamon, raisins, dates, and probably a dozen other things I can't think of, and the whole thing is surrounded by spicy booze and oak. It also has a slightly musty and oxidized quality to it.

Basically, you could try over a million different beers in your lifetime and then come back to this one in 40 years with a blindfold, and you would immediately know which beer it is just by smelling it.

Taste: Nearly identical to the smell, with the bourbon barrel, caramel, toffee, maple, brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla all coming together beautifully alongside that sweet malty richness as well as the subtle addition of raisins, dates, and cinnamon. Once again, the overall sweetness is imbued with that same aerated milk chocolate quality. It's also quite boozy, but considering its ABV this beer does an excellent job of concealing the alcohol and is ultimately very manageable. The whole thing is succulent and rich and almost dessert-like but not at all overwhelming unless you drink it too fast. The spiciness of the booze, the rich malty sweetness, and the woodiness of the bourbon oak barrel all merge together flawlessly, while the slightly musty and oxidized characteristics complement this balance in an oddly satisfying way.

Feel: Seemingly smooth and gentle with a decadent dessert-like sweetness and small amounts of carbonation, yet full-bodied and thick and laminated with the peppery sting of spicy booze. The sweetness and spiciness work very well together with the mellow tingly carbonation conjoining the two, and at the end you are left with some heat in the throat and a sticky sweetness on the tongue. The light carbonation also reduces the weight of the thick, full-bodied richness and makes it easier to drink.

Overall: An outstanding beer, probably one of the best I've ever had. Pungent and sweet and rich and succulent with a super thick and malty presence, warm peppery booze, and underlying qualities of musty bourbon oak barrel with some mild oxidation ... it all works together in just the right way; this beer is extremely well-balanced all the way through. Some may find it overwhelmingly rich or sweet or boozy, but that's totally subjective because in my opinion, this beer is phenomenal.

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

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown topped by half a finger of light tan head that fades quickly to a small collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of dark fruits, caramel, oak, toffee, and vanilla
T: Taste is a little boozy with some caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, toffee, and oak. Swallow is caramel and vanilla with a little bit of tootsie rolls and oak.
M: Heavier side of medium on the palate with soft and slightly prickly carbonation that keeps things moving on the palate. This beer has a drying finish from the alcohol.
O: Simply phenomenal. This beer has great flavors and complexity. These just keep getting better too. Alcohol is there but it's very manageable and smooth for the ABV. I can't wait to see how this one develops in the bottle.

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Photo of LouZ
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour as part of Manito Tap House's 12 Beers of Christmas event - and I feel lucky to have the opportunity. Look is a dark, rich brown; molasses color might best describe it. Minimal head. Nice aroma of caramel, malt, bourbon, vanilla - sweet. Hell, the name does mean "sugar" so it best present in that way. Taste lives up to that sweeter expectation - syrup or molasses with vanilla and dark fruit are noticed - but this sweetness is not as overpowering as expected. It's smooth. Feel is easier than expected given the high alcohol, but there is a hotness here; medium body. Overall, I enjoyed this one for its drinkability as a big, barrel aged strong ale. Well done.

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Photo of Dr_Frost
2.6/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 1 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

L: Pours a muddy brown. Honestly it looks gross.

S: The aroma is the best part of this beer. Fantastic bourbon/barrel aroma.

T: Overly sweet without the bitterness to balance it out. I guessed this beer would be sweet But didn't think it would be so unbalanced

F: Surprisingly lighter than I would have though.

O: Unfortunately, I will be dumping most of this bottle down the drain.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
L - Poured a hazy medium brown color with a half finger of beige head. The head was short lived but a fine lacing remained for a long time.
S - Smells of toasted caramel, malt , bourbon, vanilla and oak.
T - Tast is similar to the nose. The high alcohol level is very well hidden and the finish is very long.
F - Medium heavy mouth feel with light carbonation and a smooth finish.
O - An outstanding version of an old ale/barleywine. I would stock up on this if it was a little less expensive. Highly recommended.

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Photo of kinglouix
4.96/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow! This is one of the top ten things that has ever hit my lips. Pours dark brown with a wonderful bourbon infused aroma. If you are a fan of Weyerbacher Insanity, although not a Barley Wine, the pleasure of bourbon infusion in this Old Ale takes it to a whole new level. I sat down with a bottle of this and for the next 90 minutes was frozen in my easy chair, unable to move because is I was engaged in an out of body life changing experience. Once you smell it, you won't be able to remove your nose from the sniffer. This is truly a beer to be sipped and revered. Have another person with you to chill the remainder of the bottle back to cellar temperature about half way through and to continue to fill your glass. You will not be able to move once this experience starts. Things in the room did begin to move on their own upon completion. Don't miss this. You must consume a bottle of this in your lifetime. .

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Photo of Absolut
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at blue palms. Tried to fill in a flight but was denied. Had to get on own. Glad I did.

Taste is brown sugar, raisins and burnt molasses.

Smells of breakfast And syrup.

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Photo of stakem
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The brew pours a muddy brown color with a quick fading khaki colored head.

The smell includes notes of burnt sugar, maple, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses and oak. This pretty much covers the spectrum of all things rich, sweet and inviting.

The taste is raisony with brown sugar, oak and oxidation. Some bourbon warmth, earth and more raw oak. A mild tangy alcohol component finishes out the profile.

This is full bodied, lightly carbonated and an enjoyable boozy sipper.

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Photo of richj1970
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml into tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy reddish brown with 1-2 finger off white head. Fairly short retention and little lacing.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, raisins, dates, and bourbon.

T: Molasses, caramel, brown sugar, raisins, dates, and bourbon. Some light vanilla and oak.

M: Full bodied with average carbonation. Finish is a little hot and sweet.

O: Wondeful beer. Lots of rich bourbon and fruit notes. Very nice sipper to close out an evening.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a murky brown color with some bubbles clinging to the glass.

Smell - In the nose, I get an impression most reflective of booze and malts.

Taste - My initial impression is to note the booze and sweet malts. Further along come warm chocolate notes, tobacco, and sticky molasses. The aftertaste runs warm and perhaps a little sweet syrupy.

Mouthfeel - With low carbonation, this is downright sticky. The aftertaste is generously allowed to linger.

Overall - It is expensive, but you owe it to yourself to try one of these.

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Photo of stortore
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, opaque reddish brown, with a small head, not much lacing. Nice looking. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, caramel, vanilla, oak, some bourbon. Smells terrific. Taste continues the strong malt. Also more bourbon than the nose, oak, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, raisins, dates. This is so good. This is a real tongue coater and is ridiculously smooth for the ABV. A joy to drink from start to finish.

First Bruery anniversary ale I've had. Too bad I missed the others, and I wish I had another bottle of this. An incredibly complex offering, highly enjoyable.

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Photo of RickS95
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As thick and rich looking a beer as I've ever seen. It pours like flooding water, so brown, murky and mysterious. A thin head, kind of an orangey hued tan, lives up top but dies an early death with little retention, not hard to understand given the ABV of this beast.

My nose suggests I bit off more than I could chew as bourbon singes my nose hair. A bit of toffee and vanilla take up residence as well, but this smells of spirits and not beer. If you mixed a Barleywine and a shot or two of bourbon, this would be the result.

I'm scared to take the first sip, and trust me, this is a sipper. Nothing but malt early on, which gives me hope. Toffee and caramel eventually give way to bourbon as the monster crosses mid sip. At this point, it feels as if a match has been lit as the alcohol takes over along with whatever fiery hops were thrown in.

As soon as the beer is beyond the tongue and hits the throat, it's like an explosion of heat and fire. Probably hotter than Utopias. The burn coats the tongue and the pain just lingers til the next sip. That next sip brings cool to the equation but it's temporary as the beer eventually has to be swallowed which simply fan the flames from the previous sip. Before my plates disintegrated, I noticed sweetness up front, but that's just a memory at this point.

Overall, I can't recall a beer quite like this other than Utopias, which is barely a beer. I know I'll regret this in the morning when my throat is sore and flames are shooting out my rear, but for now, I kind of like the manly aggressiveness of this.

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Photo of Damian
4.86/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz wax dipped bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Served in a tulip

The beer poured a thin, almost crystal clear, crimson-mahogany color and appeared even more red when held up to the light. A frothy, bubbly, light tan mass topped the liquid and later transformed into a thick, lasting ring.

Outstanding aroma. Super sweet with intense bourbon notes. Loads of dark fruits. Booze soaked raisins and figs were apparent. Quite bready. Brown sugar, vanilla and coconut came through strong. Somewhat port-like with subtle oxidative notes. Caramel and toffee were noticeable as well. Amazingly complex and robust.

The flavor profile mimicked the nose. Super malty rich and sweet with strong boozy, bourbony notes and dark fruits. Uber raisiny. Very port-like. Loads of caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Vanilla and coconut came through strong as well. Quite sweet overall but surprisingly not cloyingly so. Bourbon dominated in the finish. Moderately oaky. Vanilla and coconut notes lingered long after the swallow. At nearly 17% ABV, the alcohol was surprisingly subdued at first, but it intensified as the beer warmed.

On the palate, the beer was amazingly frothy and creamy. Not super thick but quite slick. The liquid contained a fine, soft, moderate effervescence.

Sucre could have been a cloying, hot mess, but instead it was an amazingly rich, sweet and complex old ale. Even at their steep price points, The Bruery's anniversary releases are consistently outstanding. I look forward to trying these every year.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL into a tasting glass. From notes. Reviewed 31 January 2015.

4.25A: Mahogany glowing opaque red.

4.75S: Rich and sweet and intoxicating and incredible. Loads of bourbon.

4.5T: Much better than Bois, but not quite as good as Fruet. It's rich, sweet, and deep. Lots of pleasant fruit and bourbony notes.

4.25M: Rich and sweet and pleasant.

4.25O: Exceptional. This is super good, and reason I'm only with holding the 0.25 is the potentially-biased intoxication.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

4oz serving for five bucks at Clubhouse BFD in Michigan.

Phenomenal sums this beer up nicely. Love the booziness -- the taste and the feel. The rich dark fruit flavors with the awesome bourbon barrel vanilla and oak flavor makes for an incredible beer. This beer was so damn good that I couldn't just sip it, and drank it a bit faster than I'd like to've. This is easily the best Old Ale I've had to this point. The barrel aging just *makes* this beer. A must-try. Expensive, but I'd very likely buy myself a bottle if I had the chance.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with two finger foamy head (offwhite, khaki, couldn't tell b/c it was lowlit bar) that left some lace patches on glass. The aroma is not only boozy and woody (one could say oaky and bourbon/vanilla but reminded me a bit of port wine(not that I'm expert about port wine), in that there is a dark fruit aroma like plum, raisin, toffee, figs, grape and the barrels (again). The beer is woody smooth but heavy, definite sipper, and one gets some booze and heat but this beer is not bleeding alcohol. Sweetness comes from toffee, caramel, figs, and grape. These tastes balance with each other and the bourbon/vanilla edge in there works as well. Finishes a little hot and overall this is a quality crafted high ABV ale that is a must try.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a really good beer. Pours so dirty! Almost grainy. Drinks like a barleywine. Bourbon, cola, yes, yes...my favorite from the previous reviews is "cardboard". Ha, right, a little bit! Sure, yes, it's sweet - welcome to The Bruery. It's damn delicious.

Joined the Preservation Society this year, was given the chance to buy some of the Sucre variants. Hadn't had the regular yet, so that's all I bought. Kicking myself now.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Odd that this is unfiltered and so relatively uncarbonated. I wasn't sure I liked it at first, a little sweet and unbalanced, but as it opened up it became more integrated and rounded. Old ale for sure, and -eventually- remarkably subtle for the huge abv. Still, just a middling success, particularly from a brewery which I enjoy so much.

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Photo of AmishLightning
3.39/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a HUGE disappointment for me. I purchased the bottle for $30 because it is a rarity to get anything from The Bruery were I live. I aged it for roughly three months before cracking it open with a buddy. Everything was fine until I tasted it. The appearance was this deep brown and it smelled like plums and bourbon. However, it tasted like someone had dumped in pound of brown sugar. It was sooo sweet. It was so sweet and alcoholic that I had problems finishing it. The sugar just overpowered any other flavors that might have been present. It made me gag whenever I drank more than just a little bit at a time. Overall, I don;t know if I got a bad bottle or what, but it was a complete waste of time and money.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow, this is a whole lotta beer!
Color is a dark brown with very little head. Aroma is raisins or dates or prunes and the alcohol is noticeable. Flavor is somewhat sweet like molasses, vanilla, raisins and bourbon. This beer really rewards those who pay attention to the flavors - there's a lot going on in there. A very special beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%

Yet another killer anniversary beer from the Bruery. Pours deep brownish into my glass with a one finger off white head. Aroma of bourbon, cardboard, oak, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar. Mmmm. Flavor is really beautifully smooth vanilla caramel bourbon, some brown sugar and definite oaky presence, warming alcohol. Huge body as expected, low plus carbonation, and surprisingly smooth for the big ABV. Just awesome.

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Photo of Roguer
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Just quick notes:

Strong, sweet aroma, slightly musty and oxidized (not an old bottle). Notes of caramel.

Flavor is very, very strong. Bourbon and oak notes hit up front; tons of sweetness throughout, featuring brown sugar and caramel prominently, but also toffee, vanilla, and more bourbon; strong bourbon notes on the finish.

The dominant flavor profile after a while is brown sugar; it's got that lingering aftertaste you get from eating a spoonful of raw brown sugar.

Pretty hot beer; the alcohol is not well-hidden, nor should it be, at 16.9%.

The closest beer parallel I've had would be Sam Adams Utopias. While obviously not at that strength, and with far less spirits influence, the boozy sweetness comes through with a remarkably similar profile.


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Photo of CHickman
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%

On tap at Clinton Hall in NYC, it pours chestnut brown color with a small tan head that faded and left good spotty lacing that slid down relatively quickly. Smells sweet up front, but not too sweet, with caramel, brown sugar, gummy bears, caramel dipped apples, dark rum, maple syrup, hay, cinnamon, sweet spices that are hard to describe and a general malty sweetness that is not cloyingly sweet. For an old ale this seems more like a barleywine, but regardless it smells good. Tastes sweet but the sugary essence is mild as the flavors break loose in a malty attack with molasses, caramel, brown sugar, gummy bears, Razzles, caramel dipped apples, dark rum, maple syrup, orange peel, melot, cinnamon, sweet spices like coriander and white pepper. Wow, the complexities and flavors do not seem like an old ale as this beer is smooth and full of flavor, hiding the ABV for the most part and only letting the booze and heat peek through. It's chewy and full bodied, with a ton of flavor and mild carbonation that makes it go down easier than it should. A damn fine example of this style, world class. It was expensive as hell, but worth it.

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Sucre from The Bruery
4.38 out of 5 based on 675 ratings.
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