The Bruery

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English Old Ale
4.35 | pDev: 8.51%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 709 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BeardedWalrus
4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 Sucré. Poured into my favorite 10 oz snifter, poured aggressively it yields a thin off white head that dissipates quickly, with some lacing in the glass. Color is a dark, deep amber with almost no visibility. Smell is big and bold, the bourbon just wafts off, along with big caramel, toffee, raisin, all with a strong sweetness. Taste is phenomenal, about the richest bourbon flavor I've ever gotten from any beer. But it's not overpowering, I can still pick out the accompanying flavors of vanilla, toffee, caramel, and a hint of oak towards the back end. Feel is incredibly sticky, it just coats everything inch of your mouth, just bordering on overdoing itself. Overall yet another phenomenal brew from the folks at the Bruery, though I can't imagine ever tasting a subpar beer from them.

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BeardedWalrus from North Carolina, Mar 24, 2020
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/27/14; drank 9/27/15 @ the Palace.

Murky brown mud appearance.

Minimal dark tan head; no lace.

Raisin, plum & spiced cider notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Plum & raisin flavors up front; dry raisin & brandy notes on the finish.

Over the top but very flavorful; another year or so would benefit this.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Oct 17, 2019
Photo of darktronica
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not sure how I hadn't rated this on a previous bottle or draft encounter, but this one's over five years old at this point. Still fabulous and tasting fresh. Which for an old ale is... well, you know. Bruery's anniversary ales age with the best of them, and this bottle is no exception. Redolent, boozy and full of bourbon barrel oak.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage Bourbon Barrel Aged Sucre poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

Pours a muddy brown body with a two finger off-white head that reduces slowly to leave a ring of retention, not much lacing.

Aromas are Taste is delightful with tons of sweet, decadent notes of brown sugar, burnt molasses, French vanilla, roasty malt, dark roast coffee, bourbon, oak, finishing with a really nice roasted malt flavor that sticks on the tongue for a while. Body is pretty rich with low carbonation. Insanely smooth for 16%.

Tasting this makes me wish I bought a whole case back in 2014 when I bought this bottle! Aged very well.

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gcamparone from Rhode Island, Oct 08, 2018
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Gingerman in NYC.

Aroma is rich cherry and vanilla with an underlying malt sweetness.

Taste is barrel alcohol with a vanilla sweetness.

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Photo of WickedBeer
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at the Local Peasant in Woodland Hills, CA.

Look: Pours a beautiful opaque brown with subtle crimson hints. Small head of light tan foam.
Smell: Amazing aromas of Brown sugar, toffee, Bourbon, vanilla bean.
Taste: similar to the smell, notes of toffee and Bourbon more prominent. Spicy and boozy. Awesome characteristics.
Feel: very light carbonation, super smooth for nearly 17%. Great bourbon stickiness.

Crazy good beer. Very well balanced. Highly recommended.

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WickedBeer from Alabama, May 07, 2017
Photo of RyanK252
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours dark brown with a frothy tawny brown head that settles to a thin layer and leaves a little spotty lacing.

S: Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, smooth bourbon, vanilla, and a bit of alcohol, though not sharp or unpleasant.

T: Dark sugar, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, smooth bourbon, milk chocolate, a touch of spice, and a bit of alcohol which rounds out the flavor.

M: Full body, mild carbonation, appreciable warmth which is to be expected from a 16% er, but not unpleasant.

O: Another delicious monster from the Bruery that has matured beautifully. (I can only imagine it can be a bit hot when fresh.)

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RyanK252 from California, Mar 22, 2017
Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar, but when held up to a bright light it is very, very dark red in color. It poured with a thin off white collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of oaky vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, having even stronger flavors of vanilla along with some notes of bourbon.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: If you like vanilla flavors imparted by oak barrel aging, this is going to be a very nice beer for you that is pleasant to sip and savor. It also hides its alcohol rather well.

Serving type: on-tap

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metter98 from New York, Mar 12, 2017
Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/25/2014. Pours hazy very dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, cherry, plum, fig, date, apricot, apple, red grape, sherry, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, peppercorn, toasted oak, and brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, chocolate, cocoa, leather, tobacco, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Boozy aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Taste of huge raisin, prune, cherry, plum, fig, date, apricot, apple, red grape, sherry, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, peppercorn, toasted oak, and brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, chocolate, cocoa, leather, tobacco, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/woody bitterness and bourbon/tannic oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, cherry, apricot, apple, red grape, sherry, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, peppercorn, toasted oak, brown bread, coconut, light chocolate/cocoa, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a fantastic malt and bourbon/oak spiciness balance, with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from bourbon/oak spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and full body; with a smooth, creamy/slick, and lightly syrupy/tannic/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden; a small pleasant warmth with a bit of booziness lingering after the finish, but not overwhelming. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged old ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the enormous ABV. A bit more boozy and sweet than previous releases due the higher ABV; but also less earthy/leathery and lacking the butterscotch notes of the past 2 100% BBA versions. More tannic/drying from the barrels. A highly enjoyable offering regardless.

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superspak from Michigan, Mar 11, 2017
Photo of mjpolzin
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very, very sweet. Glad I just shared a bomber of this with some friends. Not as good as other Bruery beers I have had. The alcohol I didn't think was overly powerful with was surprising for such a high ABV beer.

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mjpolzin from Wisconsin, Dec 17, 2016
Photo of scottfrie
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle dated Feb 2014.

A: Pours a deep caramel color with a cap of tan foam that faded into a thick fuzzy collar.
S: Musty nose full of leather, oxidization, caramel, and tons of raisin. Earthy spice and peppery hop follow, with a touch of tobacco and bourbon.
T: Follows the nose, but with an intense punch of strong bitter hop and dark chocolate mixed with boozy bourbon. Leather, caramel, and raisin dominate, but I get hints of tobacco, sherry, and chocolate. Bourbon and sweet candied sugar in the finish. Brown sugar a touch of roasted gain in the aftertaste.
M: Full body, slick sticky oily greasy and heavy mouthfeel, tingly carbonation that's slightly sharp.
O: Amazing flavor, could be aged longer, but drinks just fine now. Oxidization noticeable but adds to the complexity of the flavor.

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scottfrie from California, Nov 22, 2016
Photo of rudzud
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice clearish dark brown with a nice head.

S - Aromas nice buttery oak, great bourbon, sweet caramel

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice bourbon and caramel sweetness.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely creamy and smooth.

O - Overall this was a very good, excellent barrel notes.

Serving Type: bottle

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Nov 11, 2016
Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split with rudzud

Light fizzy head, dark clear ruby brown color

Nose huge bourbon, sweet candy toasted caramel candy, mild baking spices, cocoa, toffee, dark fruits

Taste sweet candi syrup, toffee, caramel, hint cocoa and baking spice, faint char barrel vanilla touch nutty, big bourbon again, fair booze, little aged malt, candy, etc. Finish sticky sweety candy barrel bourbon candy, vanilla barrel.

Mouth is full thick syrupy, decent carb, fair booze.

Overall pretty good, booze but typical old age with nice bourbon

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Nov 11, 2016
Photo of Switch_omg
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
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 +2.1%
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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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts, Jun 13, 2016
Photo of pattycakes8401
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%
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 +3.4%
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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SHODriver from North Carolina, Mar 05, 2016
Photo of LouZ
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
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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LouZ from Washington, Dec 19, 2015
Photo of Dr_Frost
2.6/5  rDev -40.2%
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 +2.3%
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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kdahnke123 from Indiana, Nov 01, 2015
Photo of kinglouix
4.96/5  rDev +14%
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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kinglouix from Florida, Nov 01, 2015
Photo of Absolut
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
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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Absolut from California, Sep 13, 2015
Photo of stakem
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
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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stakem from Pennsylvania, Sep 02, 2015
Photo of richj1970
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
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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richj1970 from Alabama, Jul 24, 2015
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
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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Sucré from The Bruery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 709 ratings