The Bruery

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Old Ale
4.31 | pDev: 6.73%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 118 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Suds:
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Suds from Missouri

3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From an oversize bottle, this brew is intense. Dark brown in color. Light brown head. Dried fig in the aroma...lots of fruit...grist...plumb...dryness. The taste is intense....lots of booze. Very serious. The alcohol is almost hot. Overly malty, Berries..Malt....booze. Full in body. This brew is good, but almost too much.

Jun 24, 2017
More User Reviews:
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ML bottle with gold foil top split to end our leisurely Saturday evening on the couch. And yes, that’s code for “I’ll be knocked ass over tea-kettle after this”. Split with my wife.

The pour is much like the other Bruery anniversary celebrations: like mud on a Bagley road after an afternoon’s rain. Sounds appealing, eh? Much more head than your typical 53% ABV beer. Smells like an 11:30 AM wakeup call: booze, bourbon, booze, caramel, booze, wood, sweet vanilla. I think my nose hairs are drunk.

Saule is a Kim Jung Un missile of alcohol & caramel. Alcohol blasts out of the gate & my sight blackens momentarily .That’s good, right? When I pick the computer up & wipe my chin I realize there’s more to it than booze: that bourbon caramel is insanely tasty. The backing band brings lots of board feet of staves, prunes (the good kind, not the kind that loosen the bowels), lighter fluid, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, oh, loads & loads of brown sugar. Thick. It’s going to take me a while to get through this half bottle. But it’ll be a good while.

Sorry, I fell asleep for a bit. Anyone remember the Sleep spell from the AD&D Basic Set? This is like that. Only more fun. Excellent beer.

Oct 01, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

4.87/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful slightly hazy and very dark ruby with a small off white head. Smells of bourbon, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Tastes of light bourbon, caramel, toffee, sweet dark fruits, figs, dried fruits, vanilla bean, maybe some brown sugar, and a little booze. Heavy syrupy body with light carbonation. Overall this is an incredibly complex and delicious beer. One of the better beers I have ever tried.

Dec 29, 2017
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8444dodgers01 from Idaho

4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear appearance. Dark maroon color. Two-fingered head that collapses into a thin bubbley sheet. Aroma is vanilla, peanut butter, chocolate, pepper, rosemary, and chlorine. This beer has got some heat. Has a long finish that has a bit of a bite. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry. There is a hint of pineapple. The more i drink it the more of a champagne feel to it. Good blended beer. I like it when the alcohol is hidden in a high percentage beer.

Jun 25, 2017
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Driftpunx from California

4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oct 07, 2017
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Sastohlman from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

For what it is it's fine. It's simply unnecessarily boozy. For my taste that's a cop out because it buries the other flavors. Drink a pint of it. I dare you.

Nov 12, 2017
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BBA from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nov 06, 2017
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1971bernat from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 04, 2018
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nov 29, 2019
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
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
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kingjohnh from New Mexico

4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mar 28, 2019
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keithmurray from Connecticut

4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
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
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Jcarriglio from Missouri

4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 07, 2020
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TheBigBoy from Pennsylvania

2.78/5  rDev -35.5%
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
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BlurryVisi0n from New York

4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
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
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bdiiorio from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 01, 2019
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Mar 25, 2020
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dd53grif from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
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
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smithj4 from New York

4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 26, 2020
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laketang from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev 0%
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
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evanwoertz from California

4.86/5  rDev +12.8%
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
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crobinso from Colorado

3.59/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Jan 20, 2020
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Gagnonsux from Texas

4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 16, 2018
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johnInLA from California

4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Apr 23, 2017
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
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: 92 out of 100 with 118 ratings