The Bruery

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
The Bruery
California, United States
Old Ale
4.32 | pDev: 6.48%
Apr 05, 2022
Mar 25, 2017
Notes: Saule is French for “willow”, a traditional nine-year anniversary gift. Our ninth anniversary ale, Saule, 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, aged in bourbon barrels and 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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of mikeg67
Reviewed by mikeg67 from New Jersey

4.82/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
750 ml bottle. Pours brown with tall, long-lasting, foamy off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of cherries, wood, vanilla, and caramel malt. Body is full and crisp. Caramel malt, cherries, wood, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, spices and herbal hops fill the mouth. Finish is long and spicy. Great brew.
Apr 05, 2022
Photo of mschrei
Reviewed by mschrei from Illinois

4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Third of the anniversary beers I’ve had from them (2010 and 2016 being the others). This one was drank at 4 years old.

Ended up with three separate pours with the large bottle. Each time I poured it, it started as a cloudy, murky brown with an active fizzy head. Ends with a clearer dark mahogany and mild lacing. Smell presents with dark fruit, barrel, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and bourbon barrel. Taste is a mix of dark fruit and bourbon barrel. Big bodied, slightly creamy, smooth and boozy finish.

I scored of the anniversary series I’ve had over 4.5. This one is easily over that. I need to search out more of the series. It’s a great one with age.
Dec 10, 2021
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours brown in color with a one finger foamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- creme brûlée and butterscotch up front, along with caramel, tobacco, and leather. Undertones of oaky bourbon barrel, figs, raisins, vanilla, brown sugar and maple

T- an unsuspected tart note up front shows possible signs of turning. Palate opens with a bold note of caramel, toffee and and creamy vanilla. Mid-palate gives some peppery tobacco notes, as well as dark fruit notes of figs, raisins and plums. The finish gives a strong oaky background with notes of barrel juice and vanilla. Lingers of dark fruits, caramel and booze

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns slightly creamy into a warming finish
Nov 25, 2021
Rated: 4.65 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Nov 25, 2021
Rated: 4.66 by Tcsox from Massachusetts

Nov 25, 2021
Rated: 4.29 by kmoen from California

Sep 06, 2021
Rated: 4.3 by BAsbill from California

Sep 06, 2021
Rated: 4.31 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

Jul 06, 2021
Rated: 4.49 by buzzy from Pennsylvania

May 23, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by DCMcCutch

May 10, 2021
Photo of StraightNoChaser
Reviewed by StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look: deep amber. Nice tannish/red head on the pour.
Smell: bright vanilla, dark fruit, fat toffee and bourbon.
Taste: flavors aren’t poppin quite as much as they are in the nose. On the flip side, it’s Uber smooth for a 16%er. Another fantastic anniversary from these wizards.
May 07, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Birdlegs from Washington

Mar 30, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland

Feb 20, 2021
Photo of SHODriver
Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A: Poured into a snifter to a ruddy brown beer which is topped by a dense and slightly rocky two finger cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of intense dark fruits and oak with some caramel and vanilla from the barrels. Hints of mulling spices as well
T: Taste is dark fruits, caramel and toffee mixed with oak and vanilla along with a touch of alcohol. There's a hint of wine like notes as well. On the swallow there's more intense dark fruits with some red berries, caramel, oak, and vanilla.
M: This beer is on the heavier side of things with a silky feel on the palate. Carbonation is low but it's more than adequate for what we having going on here. Due to the ABV the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is another nice iteration of The Bruery's annual anniversary beer. Big in flavors and complexity and packing a good bit of alcohol. It's a monster of a beer that rewards being sipped and savored.
Feb 20, 2021
Photo of sjrider
Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a bottle 2017 vintage - murky and turbid dark mahogany with quickly dissipating off white head leaving a scant ring of tiny bubbles. Nose is multi layered sweetness with an alcohol background. Taste follows with malty cereal . apple and stone fruit. Finish is smooth and creamy with noticeable alcohol creep. Easy to get in deep on this.
Oct 07, 2020
Rated: 4.36 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota

Aug 07, 2020
Rated: 5 by NonicPanic from Pennsylvania

Jun 29, 2020
Rated: 4.71 by msscott1973 from North Carolina

Jun 06, 2020
Rated: 4.2 by smithj4 from New York

May 26, 2020
Photo of ScruffySouthpaw
Reviewed by ScruffySouthpaw from New York

4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Served in a tulip glass from a vintage bottle dated 03/28/17.

Appearance: Dark mahogany brown coming off a semi cloudiness to the body with an off-white head rising just exactly one finger's length off the body.

Smell: Sweet mellow butterscotch aroma with deep notes of warm raisins and maple syrup. Complex aroma which lingers as the beer warm closer to room temperature.

Taste: Incredible complex of light brown sugar doused with barley and another feel of raisin cake. Tasty and far superior to almost anything I have had in a while.

Mouth: Soft carbonation with a ridiculously full body. Comes off super sticky and heavy after-taste makes this one a keeper.

Overall: what a gem, definitely happy I grabbed about 4 bottles of this beer not knowing one think about the brew. They salesman told me old ale, I told him I'll grab atleast 4. YOLO, grab it if you're ever so lucky. Salud!
May 18, 2020
Photo of dd53grif
Reviewed by dd53grif from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Brewed 3/2017. 16.1 ABV so it should have aged well. Pours a murky brown color with a minimal head that disappears quickly. Aroma is fruity. Tastes of apples and alcohol. No bitterness. Good mouth feel.
Apr 12, 2020
Rated: 4.19 by RickS95 from Indiana

Apr 05, 2020
Photo of TheBigBoy
Rated by TheBigBoy from Pennsylvania

2.78/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75
Wow - 16% ABV, would hsve guess less but this is one potrnt brewer, a sipper for the bold.
Mar 30, 2020
Photo of mwilbur
Reviewed by mwilbur from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
2017 vintage. Bottled 3/22/17.
Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a thick viscous caramelly brown hue with 1/2 inch light tan head that fairly quickly settles to a thin skim.
S: Strong sweet bourbon and dry caramel malt with oak wood, brown sugar, layered malt notes, and hint of vanilla. Strong!
T: Dried berry and red fruit, soft caramel malt, sweet bourbon, brown sugar, cola, and hint of wood char. Far more balanced than expected...likely due to aging for the past 3 years.
M: Surprisingly light feel with medium body. Moderately sweet malt and fruit notes. Lingers and matures on the palate.
D: Nice complexity with layers of malt and nice blending and aging. Superb spring sipper!
Mar 27, 2020
Rated: 4.29 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Mar 25, 2020
Rated: 3.59 by crobinso from Colorado

Jan 20, 2020
Rated: 4.54 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Jan 07, 2020
Photo of keithmurray
Reviewed by keithmurray from Connecticut

4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Appearance - murky brown/chestnut body with tan head

Smell - molasses, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, bourbon

Taste - much like the smell - toffee, butterscotch, molasses, caramel, bourbon

Mouthfeel - full bodied, low carbonation, toffee/molasses sweetness upfront, boozy in the middle, sticky/hearty beverage, slight burn on the way down

Overall - decent old ale here, a bit boozy, but to be expected at 16+%ABV, barrel is a bit heavy, could use a bit more balance, but still an enjoyable beer

Price Point - $9.99/750ML bottle
Dec 24, 2019
Photo of evanwoertz
Rated by evanwoertz from California

4.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
wonderful. absolutely wonderful. some beers are special. this one makes the pursuit worthwhile.
Dec 09, 2019
Rated: 4.15 by Sludgeman from District of Columbia

Nov 29, 2019
Rated: 4.75 by Vylo from New Jersey

Aug 30, 2019
Photo of laketang
Reviewed by laketang from Arizona

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured a murky brown and as expected not a very lively head.
Scents of bourbon and dark fruits, maybe some vanilla.
Good taste of plum, dark fruits, bourbon and raisins. Alcohol is present
but not an off putting feature. Faint anise.tiny bit thin but not to worry
with this ale. Great little tongue tingle. I like it even for the high price.
Aug 04, 2019
Photo of bluejacket74
Reviewed by bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
750 ml bottle, 2017 vintage, bottled on 3/16/17. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a murky mahogany brown color with about an inch and a half tan head that didn't stick around for too long. There's also a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like brown sugar, plums, raisins, toffee, dark bread, vanilla, bourbon, dark bread and caramel. I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also the addition of some coconut, sherry, oak, fig and earthy flavors. Very sweet tasting but not quite overpoweringly so. It's a bit boozy, but that's to be expected at 16.1% ABV. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit thick with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was pretty good, but I've also liked the Bruery's other Anniversary Ales I've had in the past so I knew what to expect with this one. Definitely worth picking up if there are still any bottles around.
Jun 28, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by bdiiorio from Connecticut

May 01, 2019
Photo of stortore
Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
750 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 3/22/17, had 9/29/18.

Pours a medium amber, a little cloudy, with a short head and some soapy lacing. Aromas of figs, dates, tobacco, bourbon, plums, malt, prunes, oak, some brown sugar, light cherries, light leather. Smells divine. The taste is nearly as incredible. Flavors of bourbon, figs, dates, plums, prunes, raisins, brown sugar, some tobacco. Really smooth for the ABV, a great medium body, well carbonated.

I’m a huge fan of the Anniversary Series, and this doesn’t disappoint. Incredible aromas, excellent flavors, complex and well developed. There’s just so much here to pick out and enjoy. Can’t wait to have the 2018 edition.
Apr 19, 2019
Rated: 4.44 by kingjohnh from New Mexico

Mar 28, 2019
Rated: 4.31 by stephenlee from England

Mar 02, 2019
Photo of ajm5108
Reviewed by ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a dark amber, fairly flat as you would expect. The nose has a real rustic fruit aroma - dried raisins, fruit cake, fig - with some bourbon caramel. The fruit is just a tad sweet. Taste has lots of oak upfront, followed by more of that booze-soaked fruit, some old ale flavors (treacle) and some hints of bourbon. Definitely fruitier than previous Anniversary beers from The Bruery, doesn’t quite blend as well as it could with those old ale notes (which need to be more expressive IMO). Body is also a little thin & slick.
Dec 16, 2018
Photo of snaotheus
Reviewed by snaotheus from Washington

4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
750ml bottle, anno 2017. Served in a pair of big snifters.

Pours a murky brownish color with a small head and a small amount of very fine, very slow carbonation. Looks thick. Smell is boozy, dates, bourbon, vanilla.

Taste is boozy for sure -- sweet, dates for sure. Something moderately caramel or butterscotch about it.

Mouthfeel is thick, a little too still but not bad. Overall, nice beer, but I think my half of the bottle is going to be challenging.
Dec 01, 2018
Photo of Damian
Reviewed by Damian from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits, Somerville, MA
Served in a tulip

The nearly clear, crimson-mahogany body was topped by a tight and creamy, inch-tall, light khaki crown that quickly dropped to a thin collar. Pretty impressive head given the ABV. Tiny dots of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was fantastic. Huge malt and dark fruit presence. Big toffee and brown sugar notes. Loads of plum and raisin as well. Bit of vanilla. Moderately sweet. A touch boozy. Sherry came to mind. Winter spice notes were also detectable. With time, the nose intensified, especially the sweetness.

The flavor followed the aroma. Super malty and robust with big dark fruit notes. Raisins and plums were most apparent. Loads of brown sugar in the middle. Sweet but not excessively so. Sherry notes again came to mind. Big spice notes on the back end and the finish. Nice warming booziness. Perhaps bourbon. Loads of oaky tannins. Touch of roast too. For 16-plus % ABV, this beer drank incredibly easily. As the beer warmed, the booze intensified.

The mouthfeel was perhaps the least exciting aspect of the beer. It was medium bodied for the style but thinner than I anticipated. The liquid contained a finer beaded, moderate effervescence that turned light, frothy and creamy on the palate. The 16.1% gave the liquid a nice boozy warmth on the back end and after the swallow.

Despite their steep price tags, The Bruery’s anniversary old ales are one of the few beer releases that I make a point to purchase every year. Their unique, Sherry-like qualities resulting from the solera technique are really interesting and a pretty rare find in this current beer market. Overall, very impressive stuff and perfect for savoring next to a roaring fire on a cold night.
Oct 31, 2018
Saule from The Bruery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 133 ratings