The Bruery

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English Old Ale
4.34 | pDev: 6.91%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Poterie is French for “pottery”, the traditional eight-year anniversary gift. Our eighth anniversary ale, Poterie, follows in the footsteps of our anniversary releases before it, which are loosely based on an English-style old ale, fermented with our house yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. This means that a portion of each anniversary ale is saved in oak barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character as the years go by. The result is layered in robust and complex flavors of toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and oak. Poterie will age gracefully for decades when cellared properly.
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 216 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one fantastic sipping beer! The pour is silk with viscosity, deep brown with very little head. No matter, because the varied flavors of 8 blended ales come at you from first taste though aftertaste--toffee for sure, vanilla and dark fruit present themselves with an unbelievable smoothness for a 16.8% ABV. I personally aged the bottle for over 4 years since purchase, and what a reward!

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown beer topped by a finger of dense and rocky khaki colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal macing
S: Smells of intense toffee and dark fruits with some vanilla, caramel and oak
T: Taste is toffee and caramel up fronts with some deep dark fruit notes, strong oak, vanilla, and slight toasted malts. Overall very sweet with a little tannin from the wood to balance it a little. On the swallow there's more dark fruits, toasted malts, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and oak.
M: This beer has a fairly full body with a slightly silky feel on the palate. It isn't super huge, but it has some heft to it. Carbonation is on the low end but adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish due to the ABV.
O: Overall this beer is big and complex with a ton of flavor added from the time in the barrel. Definitely one to sip, savor and share with others. Well worth trying if you can get it.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown and really muddy colored - somewhat turned off with the thick murky witches brew - really no carbonation or head to speak of after 10 seconds upon pour

Smells of dark/tart fruit and super ripe bananas - heavy booze aroma - some malt and spice

Taste is SUPER powerful and boozy - strong banana and bourbon - Some wood and caramel - there may be some hops in there but overpowered by the fore-mentioned tastes

Feel is full bodied and thick and rich and syrupy - no carbonation to speak of after 10 minutes

Overall a great barrel aged brew - but missed the marks on a lot of aspects - flavor is great but when it goes flat is becomes uninteresting - SUPER powerful and you really feel the alcohol (even 1/3 of the way through the bottle). I bought this one for $15 instead of $32. I would pick one up again for $15 but not for $30+ - Go and try it at least once.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2/7/16; drank 8/14/19 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque brown/orange rust appearance.

An even pour yielded a minimal khaki head; no lace.

Oak, sherry heat & raspberry notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Caramel, oak, booze heat & faint raspberry flavors.

Massive, certainly, but fairly simple. Not the best example of the style.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown appearance with slight off white head. Aroma is a very pleasant malt. Taste is a very deep nice malt that is extremely smooth without any alcohol taste.

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Photo of Rristow
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tested from bottle. Pours a dark cloudy brown with white head. Aroma is bourbon, dates, raisins. Thick, sticky, chewy with slight alcohol burn. Flavors of dark fruits, molasses, caramel, bourbon. Interesting and complex beer.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from just under fridge temp. I'm loving this with a few years on it. Minimal carbonation, with nice toffee and bourbon on the nose. Also some dark cherries, Belgian yeast, oak, and raisins. Taste is very smooth - alcohol barely detectable. Huge toffee notes. Sweet candy, slightly toasted oak. Cherries, raisin, and maple.

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Photo of DIM
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap, this was a murky, muddy brown and came with a small ring of foam.

Tons of fruit, tart berries and cherries mostly. Some woody char, a bit of smoke, and a hint of vanilla, but not much bourbon. There is another side to the tartness that I just don't have a word for. Overall this is pretty appealing, but I'm glad I didn't spend the money on a big bottle.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice off white and slightly brown head that is creamy and dissipates fairly quickly. The beer itself is a wooden dark brown that looks pretty nice. The texture looks a bit heavy and similar to a cognac.

The smell is really good and interesting. While there is a boozy note, it isn't overly strong but mild enough to let the other notes shine and mix well with. The toffee and oak note along with a slight bitter note comes out in front while a slight caramel finishes it up. Through out all of this is a moderate and smooth vanilla note that unites the different notes from beginning to finish.

The taste is pretty good. It has a fairly moderate caramel and toffee note right upfront while there is a bitter wood note that eases up as the beer warms. There is also a vanilla note that is there from start to finish.

The feel is good. It's nice and lightly creamy with the right bit of thinness to it with a slightly sticky and alcoholic finish to it.

Overall, this is still a a pretty good even after it's been aged for three years in less than ideal conditions even though I think some of the flavor might have died off.

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Photo of oldmankoch
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark laquered oak in appearance with thin foamy white ring.

Raisin, molasses, plum, fig, wet oak, musty dirt(?)

Taste follows the nose well. Would add additional butterscotch and vanilla notes.

Very creamy but just a touch thin for my expectation.

Wonderfully complex and thoroughly enjoyed.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy reddish color. Has a very boozy aroma with dark fruits and bourbon. Boozy taste as well. Dark fruits and bourbon predominate. Very smooth. Syrupy.

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Photo of stortore
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 3/24/16, had 1/13/18.

Pours an opaque dark amber, with a one and a half inch foamy head and some loose, foamy lacing. Aromas of figs, dates, molasses, caramel, malt, oak, coconut, raisins, some bourbon, light tobacco. Smells terrific. The taste is more bourbon forward, then malt, figs, molasses, oak, dates, caramel, light vanilla. Tastes terrific, too. Incredibly smooth for the ABV, a solid medium to full body, well carbonated.

Incredible aroma, great flavor, the anniversary ale gets better every year. Amazing depth and complexity. I’m sure I don’t do them justice in a review. Comes with a high price point that’s worth every penny.

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Photo of Gmann
3.64/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin dark brown color with a beige frothy head.

The aroma is boozy with plenty of dark grape notes. Prune and lots of other dark fruits. Fig. Strong. One dimensional

Deep and figgy. Plenty of dark grapes and prunes. Candied honey. Some light carob. Scorched caramel and vanilla.

The feel is moderate. It has prickly carbonation and a fusel alcohol burn. Sticky yet dry?

A big boozy mess. Some nice dark fruit but the burn kills.

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Photo of Damian
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits, Somerville, MA
Served in a tulip

Somewhat murky, chestnut brown appearance. The syrupy body was capped by a frothy, two-finger tall, tan colored crown that quickly fizzled away. No head or lacing whatsoever.

The aroma was incredibly punchy and complex. Quite sweet with big toffee, caramel and brown sugar notes. Loads of maple and dark fruits too. Raisins and plums for sure. Intense vanilla notes. There was a big, boozy, slightly oxidized quality that reminded me a lot of sherry. I definitely picked out the bourbon as well. Good dose of oaky barrel.

The flavor was equally as interesting but slightly sharper. Super malty and robust on the front end. Quite sweet. Loads of toffee and caramel. Big dark fruit notes as well. Raisins and figs came to mind. Vanilla appeared in the center. Some almond notes too. More sweetness and toasted malt character on the back end. Moderate amount of oaky barrel. The beer finished boozy, but not overly so, with an intense, oxidized, sherry-like note and some lingering heat. There was an unexpected slightly sour, vinous twang as well. Really unique.

Nice creamy, frothy mouthfeel. Quite syrupy and slick on the palate. Fuller bodied for the style. The liquid contained a fairly zippy, greater than expected effervescence. Given the beer’s exceptionally high alcohol content, this drank exceptionally well.

Every year I look forward to The Bruery’s anniversary beer, and Poterie struck me as being one of the most interesting releases to date. While quite sweet, the oxidized/sherry character and sour twanginess added loads of complexity to this 16-plus percent ABV beast of a beer. This is definitely worth the steep price tag, especially if split amongst three or four people.

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Photo of BWood
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sold anniversary beer from the Bruery. Nice strong ale flavor with a good bourbon barrel. The nose is in your face bourbon with sugar and malt and some dark fruit. Taste is similar. Sweet up front. Alcohol is very present but in a good way. Solid beer. Goes down easy and warms you up.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown in color with a very murky complexion that you can't see through (think dirty riverwater). There's a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is a massive wallop of sweet bourbon and a plethora of malt. I'm tasting a hefty dose of malt, leather, bourbon, and figs. The mouth is very sticky, chewy, and warm with alcohol.

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Photo of cvm4
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours the normal murky brown body with a tan one finger head. Going off memory, the body color seems a little lighter than in years past. The head dissipates to nothing with any discernible lacing.

S - The typical brown sugar along with raisin/prune upfront with a backdrop of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Always delivers.

T - The taste mirrors the smell. They just have this beer dialed in and you know what to expect.

F - Somewhat lighter bodied than I was expecting with low carbonation. Hard to hide this abv heat too.

O - The anniversary series is a slam dunk for me. Always.

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Photo of rand
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle into a Bruery snifter

The brew yields a leather-mahogany color, as a wispy, cola-like head quickly dissipates without a trace.

Its aromas carry notes of decadent desert, dates and oak. Distinct cocoa and carob tones play against wild grains and drying oak. Plenty of booze at the edge of bouquet.

Flavors follow, but more layered and complex than the nose portends. The sweet dates are joined by notes of raisins and toffee, subtle hints of chocolate and carob as well. Burnt sugar plays off of oaky bourbon and plenty warming booze. A full-bodied complexion and oily slick mouthfeel accentuate the rich decadent flavors. Long, sweet and boozy finish. Another barrel-aged gem from the Bruery.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - super dark brown syrup
Smell - dark fruit like fig and plum with some woody bourbon better scents and booze
Taste - strong booze, dark fruit more fig dark plum with some slight brown sugar
Feel - medium light bodied syrup with barely and carbonation and a warming effect
Overall - fantastic beer to share with friends

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Photo of IKR
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy dark-brown in color. Fairly large light-beige head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Bourbon notes dominate, with brown sugar, fruity sherry notes, and moderate dark fruit aromas (think raisins and prunes). Mild alcohol presence in the nose which true to the Anniversary series is mild for the ABV. The nose is like previous Anniversary beers but each new variant brings more of the sherry and dark fruit notes to the forefront.

Taste: Bourbon, fruity sherry notes, raisins, some brown sugar, and toffee. The beer finishes mildly sweet with the Bourbon, brown sugar, and dark fruit notes. The Anniversary beers continue to get less sweet as the series progresses. No beer that is basically 17% ABV (16.8%) should go down as easy as it does.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of full-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall: The Bruery Anniversary beers are top notch bal-aged beers for my tastes. Always a treat to drink. The dark fruit and sherry-type notes come more to the forefront with each new Bruery Anniversary beer.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet caramel toffee raisin oak vanilla bourbon chocolate notes. The taste is much better than the smell. There is booze in the nose but not really a ton in the taste but there is a nice warming feeling in the chest.

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Photo of dar482
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a copper brown color.

The beer glides on the palate with an initial sweetness that does not reach a cloying enveloping richness. Tons of raisin, figs, bourbon barrel, dark fruits, caramel, butterscotch, slightly vinous. Burns slightly as it goes down, but drinks really well for its ABV.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an incredibly deep cola color - almost borderline black - with a constant carbonation and thin lacing. Aroma brings all the notes you would anticipate - rich toffee, earthy nut, dark fruit sweetness and a little oak. Those dark fruit flavors really come out on the tongue - ripe fig and date - and coupled with The Bruery's Belgian-inspired house yeast you get a lot of phenol flavors as well. It is more Quad-like than I expected. Towards the back palate some of those old ale flavors return - a little sticky toffee, sweet caramel malt and a touch of oak - but those two broad flavor spectrums could have been a little more balanced out. It is more carbonated that I expected from an old ale, but the consistency is good. Overall still an excellent beer, but I felt some of those Quad notes overpowered the rich earthy old ale notes a little too much.

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Photo of Roguer
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Intimidating amount of bourbon on the nose, along with roasted pecans and caramelized brown sugar. Prunes and red grapes round out the nose.

Flavor is exactly what you'd expect based on the nose: a ton of pecans and brown sugar, vanilla and oak from the barrel aging. Sweet slightly tart grape juice finish.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 release
~ 9 months from bottling date

Appearance- Pours a murky, deep amber brown color. Finger thick light tan colored head, frothy and soapy, dissipates to a thin layer. Alcohol legs coat glass like a film, small steaks of head lacing on glass.

Aroma- Brown sugar, molasses, toffee sweetness, tons of syrupy caramel, touch of honey. Vanilla and coconut, drying oak, and waves of sweet bourbon. Raisins, figs, rich prunes and berries.

Taste- Dark fruits, figgy sweetness, raisins, plums, prunes. Sugary caramel, toffee, brown sugar, huge rich maltiness. Vanilla, oak, bourbon heat, leathery earthiness, tobacco. Tawny port notes, slight fusel alcohol.

Feel- Full bodied, rich and syrupy thick, coating. Lower carbonation, incredibly smooth and silky.

Overall- Dark fruits come forward with such intense richness, complimented so well by the creamy sweet flavors and barrel notes. Big and boozy but not too abrasive, has a warming refined alcohol finish. Delectable sipper.

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Poterie from The Bruery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 216 ratings