The Bruery

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American Imperial Stout
3.95 | pDev: 14.18%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: If some of the best wines are blends of several grape varieties, imagine what could be achieved when applied to beer. This Black Tuesday varietal is blended and fermented with must from 75% destemmed and 25% whole cluster Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes from Sans Liege. After nearly a year in oak, this release vanquishes the boundaries between wine and beer.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep burgundy color which is topped by a dense and slightly rocky finger of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of huge amounts of tannic oak and red wine notes along with some red berries and chocolate. There's a touch of espresso in there as well.
T: Taste is chocolate and tannic oak along with some red berries, currants, and roasted malts with a hint of coffee. On the swallow there's more chocolate and coffee before the red berries, currants, and oak come around for another go.
M: This beer has a body which is just barely on the full side and just slightly syrupy. Carbonation is slightly effervescent and maybe a little too high while the finish on this beer is quite drying.
O: Overall this hybrid isn't as well balanced as past iterations. The grapes come in a little too strong and they really overshadow the base beer. There's also a little too much tannic influence going on for my liking. It still has a decent amount of complexity but it's grape driven rather than beer driven. It still tastes good, but I wish there was more beer going on.

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SHODriver from North Carolina, Apr 19, 2020
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/27/2016. Pours fairly clear very dark ruby red/purple/brown color with a small fairly dense and fluffy light khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to nothing very quickly. No glass lacing and a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart/tangy red/purple grapes, fruit skin/stems, blackberry, cherry, raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, black currant, red wine, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and dark bread/crust; with lighter notes of toffee, vanilla, licorice, smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, peppercorn, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark grapes, dark/bready/roasted malts, American oak, and fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart/tangy red/purple grapes, fruit skin/stems, blackberry, cherry, raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, black currant, red wine, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and dark bread/crust; with lighter notes of toffee, vanilla, licorice, smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, peppercorn, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate fruit tang/tartness; herbal, grassy, roast, charred bitterness; and grape/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy red/purple grapes, fruit skin/stems, blackberry, cherry, raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, black currant, red wine, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, roasted nuts, dark bread/crust, vanilla, licorice, smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, peppercorn, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark grapes, dark/bready/roasted malts, American oak, and fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitter/tart/tangy and grape/oak tannin spiciness balance; with no cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering tart/tangy/bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy/tannic, and fairly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Mild increasing warmth of 14.9%, with no lingering booziness after the finish. Overall this is an awesome oak aged fruited imperial stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark grapes, dark/bready/roasted malts, American oak, and fruity yeast flavors; smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mellowly acidic/tangy/tannic/drying finish. Not overly tannic. Awesome balance between jammy/tannic wine, imperial stout, and American oak complexity. Minimal residual sweetness with lingering tangy/tannic dryness. A really enjoyable offering, and impressive experimental style example. Did not like this as much as wineification, but it is the same idea. The grape varieties are more harsh/tannic, but not overwhelming. Got better as it warmed up.

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superspak from Michigan, Sep 22, 2019
Photo of rudzud
2/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1

Finally split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a standard tulip a nice ruby mud no head but really phenomenal legs.

S - Aromas of nice juicy Syrah grapes, light chocolate, old almost stale beer. Cloyingly sweet, rock candy, sugars. Rotten grapes.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with strong soy sauce. Like soy sauce and spoiled milk had a child out wed lock. Sticky sweet, little grape jelly, light wine notes.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, little sweet and sticky. Slick and boozy.

O -Overall this was quite possibly the worst Bruery beer I've ever had. Disgusting.

Serving Type: bottle

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Aug 11, 2018
Photo of jlindros
2/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

Split with rudzud
Light fizzy head fades instantly, dark maroon color, bit of legs

Nose is terrible, rock candy melted into grape skin pile fermented in the hot sun, sweet candy grape, bad

Taste even worse, cloying sweet soy sauce, vegetal fermented baby regurgitated prune juice, saw dust like chewing on freshly cut pine wood, salt and brine

Mouth is slimy salty briny fizzy carb boozy

Overall fuuuuuuuuuuu

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Aug 11, 2018
Photo of nataku00
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, cola, quick half finger tan head that fizzes away immediately

Not much aroma, some grape skins, brown sugar, toffee

Tannins, drying and chalky, red wine up front, slightly tart, mellows into oak, brown sugar, light coffee. Wine finish

Thin, mild carbonation, leaves a drying red wine tannin finish.

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nataku00 from California, May 13, 2018
Photo of kevanb
2.99/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, dated 10/27/16, poured into a 14oz snifter glass.

The beer pours a dark burgundy color, nearly black but with obvious garnet hues and a bubbly tan head that dissipates quickly with no retention nor any noticable lace. The aroma is very vinous, tons of red grape, lightly acidic, dark chocolate, intense oak, strong grains, light stone fruits and brown sugar. The flavors are very powerful, strong oak barrel, very intense red wine grapes, almost jammy but very vinous, stone fruits with chocolate, light brown sugar and soft dark grains. The mouthfeel is slick, medium body but with nice heft, definitely feels a bit like wine, almost a tart and crisp finish.

Verdict: Definitely getting the red wine here, and then some more red wine influence, and even some more! What I'm not getting, is a defined stout character that carries this beer and I'm not convinced of the cohesion. A very novel experiment and I could see how this would work for some, but not for me.

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kevanb from Illinois, Mar 14, 2018
Photo of ThickNStout
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pale lavender wax capped 750mL bottle acquired through The Bruery's Society. Bottled 10/27/16. Served in a Bruery snifter. Enjoyed 8/22/17.

Pours dark mahogany brown, fully opaque but for the pale hazey edges under the light, with just shy of a finger khaki froth.

Aromas of tangy grape must, wet charred oak, burnt caramel, strong Belgian-yeasty dark fruit character and a little chocolate, all with a distinct cooling alcohol tingel.

Chocolate, grapes and oak are immediately present in the flavor. Bruery yeast, burnt sugar, must, caramel and fruit skins. The hearty alcohol almost seems absent until mid palate, at which point it becomes a soft boozey blanket.

Velvety full feel with fairly soft carbonation. The label is really delivered in the aftertaste- chocolate covered Bruery yeast, semi-tart grapes and oak are all there in spades.

I’m not fully on board with The Bruery’s obsession with beer wine hybrids but Vindictive worked better for me than the couple Wineification releases I tried.

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Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled at SAVOR 2017. This was an interesting blend of a strong stout and wine. It was a little harsh on the finish, but it was otherwise delicate and bold and well balanced.

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Pencible from Virginia, Dec 28, 2017
Photo of HattedClassic
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark plum color and opaque. Not a lot of head. Strong red wine smell. Tannin is moderate and the raspberry tart smell. Some faint alcohol smell. Good berry note. Very faint yeast and chocolate in the smell. Taste is strong red wine with tannin. Faint yeast and moderate alcohol. Nice moderate wood in the finish. Feel is thin like wine.

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Photo of BWood
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: murky Dr Pepper look with slight red hue. Like a cab wine with carbonation.

S: the wine takes the front here. Mostly get the grapes.

T: slight base beer but mostly a dry syrah flavor. Nice melting of flavors.

F: not much after flavor or thickness. But I'm sure it's not intended to be.

O: nice variation of a beer/wine combo.

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BWood from California, Sep 12, 2017
Photo of Resuin
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter. Bottled 10/27/2016.

A: Pours a deep brown and leaves a finger of tan head that fades very quickly to a later around the rim.

S: Grape must, oak, toffee, molasses, vanilla. Very nice.

T: Raisins, caramel, big toffee, grape juice, vanilla. Quite sweet with a long toffee finish.

M: Creamy with a medium body. Sweet and a bit sticky. Low to medium carb.

O: A tasty, quite interesting stout hybrid. The grapes definitely come through and add something interesting to the stout/barleywine flavors that accompany it. As it warms, more red wine notes come out.

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Resuin from Massachusetts, Aug 01, 2017
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Surly teku. Shared with schen9303.

Pours almost flat with a muddy color. Nose is actually nicely complex. Purple grape must, grape skin and pulp, chocolate, fudge, booze and oak. Beer opens sweet grape skin and pulp. Hints of sweet soy sauce, chocolate, oak, tobacco and booze in the middle. A touch spicy and accented on the finish. Good complexity. The feel is more wine than stout. Flat, slick on the palate and hot going down. Its ok.

A nice creation but if I wanted wine, I'd just drink wine. Straddling the line here isn't always a good thing.

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SpeedwayJim from New York, Jul 29, 2017
Photo of stakem
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle into a snifter appears brown in color with a reddish hue as it pours. A khaki head fizzes audibly and quickly leaving some bubbles around the perimeter.

Aroma has neutral oak, solvent and boozy with a vinous touch and some earthiness. There is a grape contribution to this that does not seem desirable at all...its almost artificial feeling like grape candy. But as it breathes it has a hint of black pepper meets horsey brett.

Taste is solvent and very much like a shitty wine. I mean, im no wine person but alcohol, black pepper and the taste of artificial grape candy isnt a good combination. The aftertaste is neutral raw oakiness that does zero favors to the overall jumbled mess of a beer this is. Its just an additional layer of harshness that clashes with deeper layers of yuck.

Medium in body with moderate prickly carbonation. I really enjoyed the original version of wineification but seemingly every iteration since has become less of a beer and more of a shitty, tannic, harsh and over-oaked wine. Im pretty sensitive to raw oak flavors so maybe thats my dilemma here. I bet if they used spent spirit or even wine barrels this would be infinitely better but as-is its a waste. Ive been drinking this since its original conception of wineification and can honestly say that each version that comes out is worse than its predecessor.

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stakem from Pennsylvania, Apr 27, 2017
Photo of Kevinpitts
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a super unique beer. It's really a cross between a beer and wine. If you're not into wine, I wouldn't bother. Personally, I enjoyed this (I do like wine

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Kevinpitts from Illinois, Mar 31, 2017
Photo of colts9016
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A rusty brown color like with a vigorous pour it produced a feeble one finger head tan/reddish color. The head had no retention. and just left a ring around the glass. The beer is opaque and not much going on with it.

The aroma of the beer is huge fruit, but roasted malt with alcohol. The beer is earthy, coffee, milk chocolate, oak, caramel, vanilla, some tannins, black cherries, citrus, stone fruit, and a sweetness.

The flavor is something I was not expecting. The wine profile was massive, and the stout profile was secondary. The wine was cherries, plum, citrus, earthy and tannins. The beer part is coffee, milk chocolate, oak, caramel, vanilla, heavy alcohol, and sweetness.

The body of the beer is full, heavy, and full finish.

I would not call this Imperial Stout, more like a hybrid. This beer is very good for what the Bruery has intended for this version. The alcohol is strong, but not over powering, I really did enjoy it.

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Photo of KevSal
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 into a goose island wine glass

label resembles wineification, this is definitly wine 4. looks great in the glass, first pour is extremely carbed and bubbly

immense wine comes up right away. some bt but not very much.

flavor is even more so than the nose, huge wave of red wine throughout. some stout maltiness in there but mostly wine

mouthfeel is like a carbed red wine, big and heavy and finishes dry

overall i'm a huge fan of this series, i feel like each one was better than the last. i had wine3 for xmas and it was absolutely amazing. this guy is good but goes in a different direction, it feels like too much wine that almost completely drowns out the bt. but i have to say those that thought it wasn't enough wine will be lovin this for sure! keep the series going, it's a an experiment i love. and please put up some more wine3 from the archives please!

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KevSal from California, Jan 27, 2017
Photo of d3brewing
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from growler into 3oz taster glass 2 days after filled.
You need to know what you're getting into to appreciate this beer. I would have guessed the base beer was a barleywine but it's Black Tuesday. Tasted like a red wine blend with Mash as the base. It was tasty and worth a try but used the last of the growler for a short rib ragu which was awesome.
Would fill a growler again and will sit on a bottle to see how it develops.

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d3brewing from California, Jan 08, 2017
Photo of Lucnifter
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed strictly as an "imperial stout" it's not very good. When considering it as some sort of wine/beer hybrid, it's a very enjoyable (while sweet and boozy) beverage.

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Lucnifter from California, Dec 19, 2016
Vindictive from The Bruery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 51 ratings