12 Drummers Drumming
The Bruery

12 Drummers Drumming12 Drummers Drumming
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The Bruery
California, United States
Quadrupel (Quad)
4.17 | pDev: 6.71%
Mar 08, 2022
Sep 25, 2019
12 Drummers Drumming12 Drummers Drumming
Notes: This big brew combines a dense, Belgian-style quadrupel base with a smaller portion of The Bruery's bourbon-barrel-aged anniversary ale, at a ratio of 4-to-1.

Generous layers of dense, dark plum, raisin and fig-like fruitiness, toffee, and peppery yeast from the quad are met by the abundantly caramelized and Sherry-like depth of the old ale. Mouthfeel is robust, viscous, and generous, with modest oaky tannins and a lean current of warming, vinous alcohol providing plenty of lift to the texture. There are particularly bold notes of toffee and fig throughout, leading up to a well-rounded finish of caramel and toastiness from the bourbon barrels.
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Photo of StraightNoChaser
Reviewed by StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Look: dark cola color. Gig foamy khaki head on the pour that largely sticks around. Messy lacing.
Smell: sweet candy, dark fruit, the Belgian part strong in the nose.
Taste: much like the nose but the Belgian doesn’t dominate quite as much. Bourbon barrel old age makes an appearance.
Mar 08, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Jan 21, 2022
Rated: 4.06 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Dec 26, 2021
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2020 vintage
375ml bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours brown in color with a one-finer foamy khaki head that has good retention long after the pour

S- an array of dark fruit on the nose, figs, raisins, plums, prunes and dark cherries. Belgian candi sugar, caramel, toffee and wet oak close it out

T- sweet and malty up front with immediate notes of caramel and toffee, followed by dark fruit notes of raisin, fig, prune and plum. Mid-palate brings out notes of Belgian candi sugar as well as the barrel, that adds oak and a hint of bourbon and vanilla. The finish gives more dark fruits, with a linger of light bourbon and caramel

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation lead to a velvety mouthfeel that continues into a warming finish

O- big, boozy and loaded with dark fruit notes, well done
Dec 14, 2021
Photo of RMW66
Rated by RMW66 from Australia

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Best of the 12 IMO - worth the wait!
Nov 05, 2021
Photo of q33jeff
Reviewed by q33jeff from New Jersey

4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very nice blend. One of the better holiday beers in this series from the Bruery.

dark brown, frothy beige head.

toffee, fruitcake, yeasty, wine, grape. touch of pepper.

wonderful stickyness to go with a medium to full body and decent carbnonation. (excellent carbonation for the viscosity).

Jan 07, 2021
Photo of HattedClassic
Reviewed by HattedClassic from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
The beer pours a nice off white and creamy head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is a dark reddish brown that is hard to see through. However, it looks very nice.

The smell is good. It has a moderate bourbon note and a good dark fruit note mixed with a light toffee in the finish. The finishing notes are a good mix of dark fruit, caramel, a light pepper, and toffee.

The taste is really good. It has a strong quad note consisting of a raisin and caramel note upfront with a slight bourbon mixed with toffee and pepper in the finish. There is a tiny vanilla but it quickly goes away.

The feel is good. It has a consistently heavy body with a sticky texture and light tingling carbonation to it.

Overall, a delicious beer and the best one in the series.
Jan 07, 2021
Photo of mschrei
Reviewed by mschrei from Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A sweet, dark fruit forward beer. Plenty of flavors of caramel, molasses, raisin, fig, plum, and bourbon. Very crisp and clean for the style, not thick or syrupy at all. Definite barrel/alcohol presence. Tasty and well balanced.
Jan 06, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Stengelfoot from California

Jan 06, 2021
Rated: 4 by brocktune from Virginia

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of andypeters1971
Reviewed by andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Mouthfeel, mouthfeel, mouthfeel. Unlike some quads that will give you a mouthfeel experience akin to motor oil or molasses, this one is as smooth as a mountain stream when it comes to mouthfeel. Perfect balance. User orcrist_cleaver described it as Willy Wonka chocolate, however I detected *zero* chocolate notes. Had it on draft Dec. 2020 at Brick Store Pub, Decatur, Ga.
Dec 25, 2020
Photo of orcrist_cleaver
Reviewed by orcrist_cleaver from New York

3.07/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
Color seems all over the place after just reading a handful of recent reviews--from dark brown to lighter copper and amber. My initial reaction was Willy Wonka's chocolate river; it's that level of murky, milk chocolate. 1F worth of creamy, egg nog colored head, moderate-pour retention.

Modest amount of molasses glazed red fruit, toasted honey biscuits short of treacle, persimmon, spice and herbal wood.

Big beer with med body, med-high carbonation, but a little thin.

Flavor is as described with a lot of burnt raisin brown bread, fig chutney along with clove and white pepper. Flavors are nice, but not decadent nor rich. The sherry, herbal bitterness, and vigorous amount of oaky tannin really tampers any sweetness. Really not too fond, almost a chore to finish.
Dec 09, 2020
Photo of stortore
Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Bottled 10/15/19, had 8/9/20.

Pours a copper color, semi opaque, with a one and a half inch head of creamy foam with good retention and a good amount of foamy lacing. Aromas of plums, malt, caramel, cherries, light bourbon, raisins, light leather and oak. Similar flavors with more of a bourbon presence, then plums, caramel, malt, cherries, raisins, light leather and tobacco. A bit of a smoky flavor. Smooth, a little creamy, a very good medium body, well carbonated.

This is sneaky good, and best fully warmed. The Anniversary Ale definitely highlights and enhances the solid quad base. Very enjoyable.
Aug 25, 2020
Rated: 4.34 by Abstractspirit from Rhode Island

Aug 03, 2020
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
Reviewed by IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
375 ml. bottle from Anniversary Re-Brew box, poured into Kane tulip glass and allowed to warm.

L: Small white head with no retention. Leaves no lacing and a thin white ring. Beer is a dark chestnut brown.

S: Dark fruits and figs, kandi sugar, a bit of barrel as it warms.

T: More or less as described by the nose. It's not oversweet, and both the barrel and ABV moderate the finish nicely. Lots of fig and raisin.

F: Full-bodied, little carbonation. Well-constructed and balanced.

O: A fitting end to a fine series. Glad they did the rebrew so I could try them all.
Jun 26, 2020
Rated: 4.29 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Jun 16, 2020
Rated: 4 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Apr 18, 2020
Rated: 4.18 by heysuz from Indiana

Apr 18, 2020
Photo of SoCAlifer
Reviewed by SoCAlifer from California

5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Had this one sitting in the fridge for months. I'm not typically a fan of Belgium's and I kept holding this bomber thinking I'd share it some time. Stuck at home avoiding Covid, I decided to check it out. Delicious! What a treat. The Brewery once again prooves their prowess. That's bottles are still out there. Grab it if you can
Mar 21, 2020
Photo of brycemc
Reviewed by brycemc from California

4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Last of my Christmas box.

Look is a opaque dark brown but with some milky haziness to it. Really neat look.

Smell is redolent of malts and deep chocolate.

Taste is right as on the bottle really, a great quad but with notes of the old aged ale with some barrel notes and oakiness. Finish is dry and kind of woody, with a nice dark almost cognac like note that lingers.

Feel is medium body, dry finish, a bit lighter than a typical quad (due to the old ale likely), easy sipper and not too sweet or thick.

Overall a great way to wrap up the Christmas package. This seems like it would age very nicely.
Feb 17, 2020
Rated: 4 by Hellpop65 from Kansas

Feb 09, 2020
Rated: 3.94 by nmann08 from Virginia

Feb 01, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
Reviewed by Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
From the 750ml bottle in a snifter. This wonderful quad
pours a deep muddled dark brown with a very nice head of
off white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin clumping pool,
and displays some very attractive lacing. Nose of dark candy sugar,
figs, cherries, sherry, toffee, and rich herbal notes from the yeast.
Flavors follow the nose nicely with fig and dates, sherry, cherry,
toffee, dark candy sugar, subtle white pepper, and touches
of dark wine like a Merlot and sweet tempting bourbon.
Very nice mouth feel; medium body, smooth, medium light
carbonation that is effervescent and provides lift, and a subtly
dry and lightly sticky finish that is well balanced between
sweetness and herbal touches.

Overall---a wondrous brew to lay down for a few years.

Jan 29, 2020
Rated: 4 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Jan 25, 2020
Rated: 4.07 by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

Jan 25, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland

Jan 19, 2020
Rated: 4.15 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

Jan 19, 2020
Rated: 4.19 by BeerMeCJS from California

Jan 18, 2020
Rated: 4 by archero from Texas

Jan 17, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

Jan 13, 2020
Rated: 4.08 by Sparky44 from Illinois

Jan 12, 2020
Photo of Beginner2
Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
I didn't find this series until its 9th year. I feel deprived. I want The Bruery to start it up again. Please.

Looks are average for the style. Smells are mostly dried dark fruit, but the 4 to 1 ratio to the anniversary barrel-aged ale seems more than plausible. And Tastes largely confirm the barrel and the old ale are present, but not dominant. This sits in my mouth largely the same: dark fruit restrained by an older ale; but it does not give me the warmth of a more syrupy quad. Creative. Interesting. And I would like to taste an improved version in another 12 years. My key suggestion is less stale in the old ale.

Despite rating 12 Drummers well below the average, I give The Bruery very Big OA Hugs. Their 514+ beers on BA is testament enough to their creativity. But by re-order that list by ratings, I also just discovered that they have far fewer Belgians than I thought (mostly because I gravitate to them.)
Jan 07, 2020
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottle from Boise Co-op. Very dark brown body, patchy beige head. Aroma is roast malts, nutty, light coconut. Beer is full-bodied, roasty, coffee flavors, almonds towards the back. Caramel and coconut are very faint.
Jan 03, 2020
Photo of Lucular
Reviewed by Lucular from Maryland

3.61/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
5 oz pour on tap at Lures Bar & Grille. Smells pretty nice - fig, raisin, Belgian quad yeast notes with some vanilla and bourbon - but it tastes much thinner and less rich/complex. Too boozy and fresh fruit rather than dried fruit. Mouthfeel is, again, too thin and hot. Not great.
Jan 02, 2020
Photo of TooManyGlasses
Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
New Years dinner. 750 ml split 4 ways.
Pours a dark caramel brown with half finger creamy khaki head.
Aroma is sweet caramel malt, Belgian yeast - toffee, plum, raisin, brown sugar.
Taste follows the nose - toffee, dark fruit, raisin, hints of molasses, spice, and a bit of booziness.
Medium mouthfeel - a bit thinner than expected - carbonation initially seemed adequate but faded as sat. A bit of alcohol warming.
Jan 02, 2020
Photo of BucannonXC5
Reviewed by BucannonXC5 from California

4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Type: 750-ml bottle
Glass: Tioga-Sequoia 13-oz. tulip
From: Windmill Farms in Del Cerro (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $10.99
Purchased: Nov. 27, 2019
Consumed: Nov. 28, 2019
Reviewed as: Quadruple (Quad)
Misc.: Bottled on Oct. 15, 2019 at 9:36 a.m. PT

Picked this one up because I was looking for something barrel-aged and with my father-in-law in town, this fit the bill. Was sold after reading the front of the bottle - 80% Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale & 20% Old Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Online description read, “This big brew combines a dense, Belgian-style quadrupel base with a smaller portion of The Bruery's bourbon-barrel-aged anniversary ale, at a ratio of 4-to-1. Generous layers of dense, dark plum, raisin and fig-like fruitiness, toffee, and peppery yeast from the quad are met by the abundantly caramelized and Sherry-like depth of the old ale. Mouthfeel is robust, viscous, and generous, with modest oaky tannins and a lean current of warming, vinous alcohol providing plenty of lift to the texture. There are particularly bold notes of toffee and fig throughout, leading up to a well-rounded finish of caramel and toastiness from the bourbon barrels.”

Poured dark brown color with two fingers of khaki-white frothy head. Some bubbles creeping up along the sides of the glass at different speeds. Outstanding uneven foamy lacing. Outstanding retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled dark fruit, mostly plum, raisin, fig and purple grape. Also toffee, caramel, earthy oak, cloves, Belgian yeast, banana bread, all-spice and hints of anise. A little better out of the bottle. (Smell - 4.00)

First thing I thought on the taste was how sweet it was. Got dark fruit, plum, raisin, fig, purple grape, earthy oak, Belgian yeast, spicy cloves, all-spice, banana bread, toffee, caramel and a touch of smooth bourbon. Very smooth for 12 pct. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Seemed more than 80 percent quad, but I really liked this overall. Outstanding. (Overall - 4.00)

4.07 | 91 | A-
Dec 31, 2019
Photo of leaddog
Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
My first go at this series. A nice rare gem to bare its presence in Cowtown.

Appearance - Pours a deep amber with two fingers of amber bubbly head.

Smell - earthy and leafy hops, toffee, fig, plum, raisin, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, cherry, clove, pepper, and spicy yeast.

Taste - earthy and leafy hops upfront then quickly goes into the toffee, fig, plum,raisin, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and cherry, The fruity esters of clove and pepper follow suit. The spicy yeast rounds out the brew with a pleasant warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes smooth and sticky. All the ingredients create a lingering harmonious balance of sweetness.

Overall - A pleasant and dangerously drinkable quad that delivers on all fronts. From barrel aging in bourbon barrels to the sweetness from the dark fruits this is certainly a brew that is a pleasant way to end this series. Worth a try if you're curious.
Dec 27, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Dark brown mostly opaque body with a tan head that quickly fades. Toffee, raisin, date, candi sugar, belgian yeast, malts, bourbon, and wood in the nose, very cohesive. Taste is very similar, more sweetness to the fruit and toffee/caramel with an injection of vanilla, and black pepper, bourbon, wood, and yeast all crash down upon the sweetness in a smooth and rewarding way. Full bodied, slightly boozy, warm, yet has nice contrasting sweetness and earthy tones in the feel. I think a year of age on this would make it even more rich, still was a treat on Christmas now. The wife loved it
Dec 26, 2019
Photo of sjrider
Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a bottle - murky dark dirty brown with thick khaki head leaving bubbly lacing. Nose is sweet with dark fruits. Taste follows with malt ,barrel wood ,candy and fig. Finish is smooth and on the dry side.
Dec 25, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by crob3888 from California

Dec 25, 2019
12 Drummers Drumming from The Bruery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 66 ratings