12 Drummers Drumming
The Bruery

12 Drummers Drumming12 Drummers Drumming
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Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
ABV:
12%
Score:
90
Avg:
4.18 | pDev: 5.98%
Reviews:
17
Ratings:
54
From:
The Bruery
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  1
Gots
  4
SCORE
90
Outstanding
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.
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 54 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
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
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
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
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SoCAlifer from California

5/5  rDev +19.6%
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
brycemc from California

4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
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
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Excellent

Jan 29, 2020
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev -5%
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
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stevoj from Idaho

3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
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
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Lucular from Maryland

3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
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
TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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
BucannonXC5 from California

4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
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
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leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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
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sjrider from California

4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle in a Speiglau BA glass.

Look is a hazy brown with cola highlights and a thin off white head.

Aroma is Belgian candi sugar and dark red fruits.

Taste is the dry Belgian dark fruits with a hint of vanilla bourbon.

Dec 15, 2019
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ThickNStout from Georgia

4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 11.99. Bottled 10/2/19. Served in a Bruery teku. Enjoyed 12/12/19.

Pours a dirty, ruby hued mud brown, fully opaque with a tall khaki head. A few steady streams of bubbles continue to rise up the sides of the glass as the foam settles. There’s a goog deal of nice retention, from the persistent island to a frothy collar to some wide bands and sheets of lacing.

The aroma lines up pretty well with what I’ve come to expect from a quad. Loads of sweet dark fruit-laden bread pudding, caramel and toast are joined by some wet oak, gentle vanilla and toffee.

This tastes quite good. Dark fruit, raisin bread, vinous Belgian yeast, toffee, subtle chocolate, old wet wood, caramel, earth and the gentle, boozy nudge of bourbon vanilla cream.

Smooth, full feel with some unassuming carbonation that keeps it from falling flat. Lingering, doughy finish with flavors of raisin bread pudding, bourbon-kissed caramels and some earthy Belgian yeast.

The Bruery has finally reached the final verse of their over-a-decade long journey through holiday releases. Presenting as a particularly complex quad, 12 Drummers Drumming is one of my favorites from the series. The anniversary ale blends quite well, augmenting the dark fruit, yeast, bread and caramel while adding notes of vanilla, wet wood and toffee. So what our Brue love give us on the 13th day of Christmas?

Dec 13, 2019
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very cloudy reddish brown color with a thin foamy head. Small pour. Retention is minimal and lacing is very good. Malty aroma with dark fruits and mild spices. Smooth taste with Christmas spices. Some dark fruits. Sweet. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Nov 30, 2019
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark, mahogany brown color and thick, opaque consistency.There was a quarter inch of foamy, off white, somewhat long-lasting head. Below average lacing.

S: A pretty good aroma of dark fruit, malt, toffee, spices, booze, wood, and caramel.

T: Tasted of a some spices (pepper, in particular), a good amount of bourbon (and its accompanying barrel), a hint of caramel, some caramel, a good amount of dark fruit (figs, in particular), and a bit of toffee. This is a focused, subtle, and balanced flavor. The booze is well-concealed, but is certainly present. Tasty stuff.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solid quad all around. Worth a try.

Nov 14, 2019
12 Drummers Drumming from The Bruery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 54 ratings