Arbre - Alligator Char
The Bruery

Arbre - Alligator CharArbre - Alligator Char
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
The Bruery
California, United States
American Imperial Stout
4.11 | pDev: 5.11%
Dec 22, 2021
Aug 03, 2015
Arbre - Alligator CharArbre - Alligator Char
Notes: This variation of Arbre spent time resting in barrels treated with the deepest, boldest char possible - called alligator char, imparting characteristics of burnt marshmallows, black currant, caramelized brown sugar, charred oak and dense dark chocolate fudge.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Gatch
Reviewed by Gatch from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottled in 2015; the final version in the series of three. Definitely past its prime, a bit too syrupy and cloying, with an odd flavor to the charred malt at this point. Out of the three, 'Light Toast' held up the best over time.
Dec 22, 2021
Photo of mwilbur
Reviewed by mwilbur from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
2017 edition. 10.8% ABV. Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark brown hue with half inch light tan head with decent retention.
S: Definitely loads of wood char (hits from a foot away), molasses, burnt caramel malt, leather, vanilla, and a hint of marshmallow cream.
T: Wood char, smooth dark caramel, creme brûlée, vanilla, and hints of molasses and leather.
M: Moderately heavy body. Dark roasty layers. Malt sweetness. Smooth with a touch of stickiness. ABV is very well hidden. Lingers nicely on the palate.
D: An interesting brew to be sure. It definitely delivers on the alligator char notes. A nice autumn sipper.
Oct 10, 2021
Photo of BucannonXC5
Reviewed by BucannonXC5 from California

4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Type: 750-ml. bottle
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial Stout
Glass: Pure Project 16-oz. snifter glass
Price: $5.00
From: From a Facebook San Diego beer trading group
Purchased: Dec. 3, 2020
Consumed: Dec. 20, 2020
Misc.: Bottled on July 27, 2015

Picked this out on a Facebook San Diego beer trading group from a guy that was trying to get rid of a bunch of stuff. Ended up paying $40 for five 22-oz. barrel-aged beers, including this for just $5. This was the Alligator Char version after I gave the Light Toast one a 4.21 on Dec. 13, 2020 and Medium Toast a 4.13 on Dec. 18, 2020. Since this appears to be even more oak than Medium, I’d say this will be right around a 4.00. Back of the bottle read “The Arbre series is an exploration of barrel toast. We brewed a rich, malty imperial stout and divided it into three parts, laying each down in brand new American oak barrels from our friends at Kelvin Cooperage in Kentucky. This variation of Arbre spent time resting in barrels treated with the deepest, boldest char possible - called alligator char, imparting characteristics of burnt marshmallows, black currant, caramelized brown sugar, charred oak and dense dark chocolate fudge. A remarkable beer on its own, but even more exciting when tasted side-by-side with its light toast and dark char counterparts for a truly educational experience.”

Poured a black color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki tan frothy head. Mostly calm underneath the head with just a few bubbles coming up from the sides of the glass. Below average spotty lacing. Average retention. (Sight - 3.25)

Smelled milk chocolate, vanilla, burnt marshmallow, oaky barrel, smooth bourbon, chocolate syrup, caramel, toffee, toasted brown sugar, semi-char wood, dark fruit and plum. Not quite as good from the bottle. (Smell - 4.50)

Taste was not as good as the nose, but still pretty solid. In order got woody oak, char wood, milk chocolate, burnt marshmallow, chocolate syrup, toasted brown sugar, caramel, toffee, smooth bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla and hints of port wine. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Sticky texture. Soft carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Wow. Was pleasantly surprised. This was the best of the three Arbres I had. Excellent. (Overall - 4.25)

4.28 | 95 | A
Mar 31, 2021
Rated: 3.88 by Jason_cs from Florida

Aug 28, 2019
Rated: 4.23 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania

Mar 01, 2018
Photo of BeanBump
Reviewed by BeanBump from California

4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Thick and heavy like a woman sitting at bus stop in leggings. Between the weight and the char this is a sipper. The flavors are bold and you get a good amount of char. The downside is that the char flavor outweighs the barrel here. You still get SOME barrel, dont get me wrong, but when you buy a beer with "Alligator Char" on the label, what do you expect? This is a perfect cold weather, by the fire, beer.
Sep 22, 2017
Rated: 4.29 by needMIbeer from Virginia

Aug 23, 2017
Photo of vfgccp
Rated by vfgccp from New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Q's favorite of the three. Pete, Jon and Jay's second favorite.
Jul 09, 2017
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Thanks @2beerdogs

L - snifter pour. Murky deep brown. Frothy light mocha lacing.

S - I smelled bourbon as soon as I cracked the cap. In the snifter it's vanilla, oaky, sugary, toffee, brown sugar, oily butter, and cheesecake?

T - unique. Beyond your standard double stout. Not at all charred or roasty like the name presumes. Very, very sweet. Lots of raisen and fruit. Certainly bourbon, very vanilla forward bourbon.

M - strangely watery. Very dry and attenuated. Heavy alcohol presence. This beer would be world class to me if it were thicker.

Overall. Taste on point. Mouthfeel failed to round it out. Still, an above average stout. The more I drink this the more I can't agree with it being a stout. There is SO little roast, chocolate or smoke that this imo is better categorized as an American strong ale.
Jun 18, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by SadMachine from New Jersey

May 25, 2017
Rated: 4.23 by IrishColonial from Texas

Apr 17, 2017
Photo of SHODriver
Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a half finger of dense tan head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of fudge, coffee, vanilla, toasted marshmallows, and some barrel char
T: Taste is toasted marshmallows and vanilla with some chocolate, charred wood, roasted malts, and light caramel. The beer has a slight fruity note as well. Swallow is burnt wood with some more marshmallows, coffee and roasted malt
M: This beer is full in body with soft but adequate carbonation and a dry finish
O: Overall this beer is pretty good. This was a fun concept and it's tough to declate a favorite. This beer has a nice complexity and it's interesting to see the effect the barrel can have on the beer. The barrel influence was really nice as well.
Oct 06, 2016
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
Reviewed by DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I did a side-by-side tasting of all three Bruery Arbre and this one was my favorite; none of them was particularly outstanding, but all of them were tasty and fun to compare.

The char is unabashed in all of them- few nuances. It is all about oakiness and burnt barrel. As such, it can get tiring after a while, and for me it did.

It was three of us and none of us finished every glass, but we all had fun tasting.

I just wish the Arbre series had a bit more depth and a bit of a bourbon taste.
Sep 29, 2016
Rated: 4 by orangesol from Pennsylvania

Sep 14, 2016
Rated: 4 by GRG1313 from California

Aug 14, 2016
Rated: 4.1 by BEER88 from North Carolina

Jul 30, 2016
Rated: 3.81 by oriolesfan4 from Maryland

Jul 25, 2016
Rated: 4 by drewone from California

Jul 20, 2016
Rated: 3.94 by spycow from Illinois

Jul 03, 2016
Rated: 4.42 by drummermattie02 from Texas

May 17, 2016
Photo of rudzud
Reviewed by rudzud from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Split with JLindros.

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

S - Aromas of nice chocolate, good char, fudge, oak.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, very nice chocolate, good dark roast and char. Char is a bit light than I thought it would be.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this was a solid beer, the char though wasn't nearly as strong though as the previous bottle

Serving Type: bottle
May 06, 2016
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Split with rudzud
Smaller head, little lacing, pitch black long legs

Nose super dark fudgey cocoa, little Smokey and char, toasted oak, toasted malts, little saw dust, sweet chocolate syrup, caramel and little candy, big fudge little charred barrel.

Taste brings big chewy nougat and chocolate fudge, little Smokey char, fruity flavors, weird dark fruit, little booze warmth and phenol, chemical char and some thing, dark choc fudge char, little smoke, fair oak and toasted char.
Unfortunately very little barrel.
Mouth thicker chewy like little warming booze, lighter carb.

Overall ok, thankfully not nearly as crazy char oak as expected after the last two.
May 06, 2016
Photo of rand
Reviewed by rand from California

4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750 mL bottle to snifter

A: Sludgy, jet-black appearance. Crude oil. A tiny rim of bubbles touch the glass at top of the brew, otherwise scant head.

S: Oak and booze anchor the bouquet and penetrate the orofactory organs. Suggestions of unsweetened chocolate, molasses and smoke are noted.

M/T: Burnt oak at the front of the sip, but more layered and complex than the nose portends. Notes of tobacco contrast with carob. Earthy-sweet molasses is smoothed-out by creamy dextrins. Ripe fruit and caramel offset smoky undertones. Closes with a fairly long finish.

From the description, I was expecting something more harsh and thought this had the potential to go off the rails. It's actually damn tasty and instead of adding big, burn-y, smoky aspects, the extra char adds complexion and depth of flavor.
May 03, 2016
Photo of ThickNStout
Reviewed by ThickNStout from Georgia

3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Black and silver striped foil cappped 750mL bottle acquired through The Bruery's Society. Bottled 7/27/15. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours black with a a little more than a finger of pale khaki head. The bubbles shrink back, leaving a thin donut-patterned layer of haze and a full crown that imparts some scattered splotches of lace.

Smells of dark chocolate, burnt sugar, mild barrel char, sweet pitted fruit and some caramel. Enjoyable.

Tastes of bittersweet dark chocolate, wet oak, burnt caramel, barrel char, dark fruit skins, brown sugar and a little alcohol. This doesn't have the sweeter, rounder flavors I enjoyed in Light Toast but the full on burnt notes work well in their own way.

Creamy, medium full body with soft carbonation. Burnt oak, over cooked fudge, caramel and dark fruit linger in the aftertaste.

The Bruery continues their impressive track record of mighty fine stouts. While not quite to my liking as much as Light Toast, Alligator Char fully committed to its particular blend of chocolate and char in a way that appealed to me a bit more than Medium Toast. This was a cool and educational experiment.
Apr 24, 2016
Rated: 4.14 by siege06nd from Virginia

Apr 10, 2016
Rated: 3.96 by Rhettroactive from Virginia

Apr 10, 2016
Rated: 3.93 by billab914 from Virginia

Apr 10, 2016
Rated: 3.76 by kingjohnh from New Mexico

Mar 19, 2016
Rated: 3.77 by taospowder from New Mexico

Mar 19, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by ArkyVaughan from New Jersey

Mar 03, 2016
Rated: 4 by ivegot3Dvision from Oregon

Feb 29, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by DeadeyeOTDO from Arizona

Feb 21, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by t2grogan from Arizona

Feb 20, 2016
Rated: 4 by stereosforgeeks from Virginia

Feb 16, 2016
Rated: 4.24 by Kramerwtmf from California

Feb 14, 2016
Rated: 4.18 by warnerry from Michigan

Jan 19, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by XmnwildX12 from Minnesota

Jan 19, 2016
Photo of Kurmaraja
Rated by Kurmaraja from California

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
More depth and a savory note to balance out the fruit and sweetness that seems present in the base.
Jan 11, 2016
Rated: 4 by Kevinpitts from Illinois

Jan 10, 2016
Rated: 4.15 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Dec 27, 2015
Arbre - Alligator Char from The Bruery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 57 ratings