Partridge In A Pear Tree
The Bruery

Partridge In A Pear TreePartridge In A Pear Tree
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Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #79
Ranked #8,195
4.02 | pDev: 12.94%
The Bruery
California, United States
Very Good
Partridge In A Pear TreePartridge In A Pear Tree
Notes: Partridge in a Pear Tree is the first in the 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series. Brewed in the style of a Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale, brewed with our brewery-made dark candi sugar, Munich and Vienna malts. Dark brown in color, fruity and complex with a rich malt backbone. This is a simple yet immensely complex beer meant to be savored and shared with friends and family.
Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 174 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by GClarkage:
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GClarkage from California

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02/13/09- Purchased at Holiday Wine Cellars in Escondido, CA.

Presentation- 2008 release, poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Copper-golden color with fine clouded yeast swirling about. 3/4 inch quickly fading head which leaves a slight rim. Small pacthes and lines of lace left over.

Smell- Very sweet nose of suagr and a mixture of fruit scents. Some caramel candy smell as well. Only drawback is the extreme sweetness.

Taste- Pretty much dead on the the nose. Again the only negative being a bit too sweet. Sugary fruits play havoc on the tongue with some very light cinnimon and clove flavors. Cherry is the most abundant flavor...jolly rancher-esque. Almost like a amped up Three Philosophers.

Mouthfeel- Perfect carbonation level, sticky sweetness and a bit cloying in the mouth. Otherwise, damn perfect.

Drinkability- So close to a perfect beer. Sweetness needs to be turned down a notch or two and we would have liquid gold.

Feb 15, 2009
More User Reviews:
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Nice dark raisin color with clarity and thin lacing.
S - Some dark fruit with mainly dark Belgian candy sugar.

T - Belgian dark candy sugar, some slight dark fruit tang, and ends with a balanced lingering bitter orange that's more towards the sweet side.

M - Big medium body, viscous, and lip smacking sticky.

O - Better than it's current 3.99 score IMO.

Jan 25, 2020
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle from the 2019 reissue. Poured into Trillium The Six States glass and allowed to warm.

L: Small, very light-tan head with poor retention, leaves no lacing and a thin ring, Beer is a very dark chestnut brown.

S: I know this is bonkers, but it smells like dried pears. I swear! Loads of candi sugar, dried dark fruits, and roasted malts. I really hope it's not as sweet as the notes indicate. No notes of partridge.

T: Woooo, it is indeed quite sweet and pretty raw as well. Loads of caramel and dried fruit, viscous malt, and a touch of alcohol heat at the end. Some citrus notes as well. Pretty overwhelmingly cloying, though.

F: Full-bodied, very little carbonation. Can't give this super-high marks for construction and balance as the sweetness is jarring and clashes with the alcohol. Probably would be a lot better with some barrel aging. Maybe in an apple brandy barrel.

O: Really wanted to give it better, but can't. If only I had thought to buy two cases and age one.

Feb 18, 2020
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Jul 07, 2020
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michiganmatt from California

3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep reddish-brown, aromas of red fruit, raisins, overall what you would expect for a Quad's aroma. Tastes of boozy red fruit, raisins, candy sugars, faint hints of breadiness. Medium bodied, fairly light carbonation. Overall this was mostly just an okay quad. I thought that given that ABV, that the flavors would be a little stronger, instead the flavors felt a little muted, as if the beer was a bit watery.

Dec 30, 2020
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paulish from New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 20, 2020
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gordavidson from Maryland

3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 20, 2020
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Stengelfoot from California

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 26, 2020
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dukeufo from California

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 26, 2020
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color, lot of suspended yeast. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet and sour nose. Flavor is caramel, ginger and spice . High ABV is hidden. Pricey at $12.45 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Apr 19, 2009
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htomsirveaux from Texas

3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle tried 10 Jan 2009.

Poured in a 0.4 mL tulip. Large peachy white tight head. Well carbonated. Cloudy ruby red color. Smells of yeast, sour cherries, tart nectarines, kind of dry and dusty. Tastes strongly of spice cake, cinnamon, nutmeg. Lots of sweet and sour fruits and dark sugar. Quite sweet throughout. Mellow bitter finish. Ethanol warming in finish, almost bourbony. Medium body.

Would be interesting to age this 11 years for the vertical.

Feb 19, 2009
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, dark brown with an off white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, brown sugar, raisins, poached pears, and a touch of spices and cracked, black pepper.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with more of a sugary, caramel flavor coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is chewy, spritzy, sweet, and somewhat smooth considering the dangerous level of abv.

Mar 11, 2009
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.32/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep clear copper color ale with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some light dry fruits notes. Taste is dominated by sweet malt and is almost overly sweet with very subtle notes of dry fruits and a unrefined grain finish. Body is quite full with average carbonation and no noticeable alcohol. A bit deceiving overall with lacking complexity and some overly dominant sweetness.

Apr 24, 2009
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joecast from Australia

4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

deep hazy amber color. low carbonation with a thin tan head that leaves good lacing on the glass.

after having a few beers from the Bruery now, they seem to have a similar belgian aromatic character. i guess thats to be expected as they probably use the same standard belgian yeast for most of their beers, if not all. this one has that same character which i find very appealing. dark fruits and some alcohol heat with a hin of barnyard thrown in.

smooth sweet dark fruits in the taste as well. light spice and yeast with a slight bitter finish. a really big beer but very well balanced.

seriously drinkable for 11%. the alcohol only just makes itself noticeable but its such a full and complex beer that you end up sipping it slowly anyway. very nice.

Jan 15, 2009
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled September 2009
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that shows an almost brilliantly clear light cranberry hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells expressively of sweet, rip dark fruit (even noticeable as I pour this); notes of rum soaked raisins, dark concentrated plum, fig compote spiced with Chinese five spice, a touch of tart tamarind, some date notes. The malt character in this beer is big as well with notes of brown sugar and light molasses, a touch of graham cracker and a rich, dense, moist holiday bread like note. Overall the spices are fairly subtle in the nose, but play a supporting role to the concentrated malt and fruit notes that dominate the aroma. Despite being quite fruity, this beer does not come off as overly sweet, nothing near cloying, but it does have a rich concentrated fruit aroma to it.

Thick and viscous as this first hits my tongue, there is an ample carbonation here as well, that still is not able to scrub the palate of this heavy beast of a beer. Rich, fruit laden notes of figs, raisins and prunes up front turn into a concentrated, almost brandy like note in the finish where some warm alcohol flavors come into play. A touch of tartness in the finish rounds out the fruit character and there is a definite spiciness to the finish that contributes notes of clove, perhaps a hint of anise, and an earthy, perhaps coriander, slight nutmeg note as well. The finish sees some toasted grain character in it that helps to dry out up front notes of caramelized malt sugars that provide a rich brown sugar note and some date like flavors. This is definitely a sweet rich beer, it manages to not be quite cloying, but it could certainly be a touch drier, which would make it a touch more quaffable and perhaps even a bit more complex.

A second pour of this has this being quite carbonated again, much of the sweetness is tempered by the carbonic acid in the beer, this really helps the balance of the beer quite a bit. This is definitely a problem for this beer, it is just too big of a beer to be drunk quickly before the carbonation levels drop off, which then leaves the beer a bit unbalanced. This is a nice beer, it should actually improve a bit with age, at least for a couple years, as some additional oxidation should dry this out and add some additional complexity. If The Bruery is planning on a 12 year "vertical" tasting this beer actually has the oomph to go the distance in reasonable shape (unlike that Witbier from down south) and I can't wait to try the other 11 beers.

Mar 07, 2010
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John_M from Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hamilton's the other day. The beer pours an amber brown color with red hilights. Head retention and lacing both look pretty good on this one. On the nose this beer is very impressive. Tasted blind, there is no way I would guess I was drinking something domestic. Surely I'm drinking this beer somewhere in Belgium. I get a huge aroma of rootbeer, chocolate and spice, which is very enticing. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except I get more of a cola and tomatoe sauce flavor on this medium sweet beer. There is also plenty of chocolate and spice. I know the combination sounds a bit odd, but this beer is absolutely delicious. The beer is medium bodied and pretty long on the finish. Alcohol is fairly well disguised, considering the abv., but you can tell it's up there.

Another excellent beer from Bruery. I'm starting to expect it from them.

Dec 21, 2008
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sunset coral red with bright tangerine highlights along the edges of the glass. The crown is equal parts orange, gold and beige. It's also too small for a Belgian-style ale, although with an ABV of 11.0%, that isn't a surprise. There's just enough lace to keep the score from falling a notch.

The aroma isn't a humdinger for a quad, but it has enough facets to be interesting. Too much sour fruitiness may be more of a negative on the palate. Each sniff delivers steely caramel, musky fruit skins and an earthy spiciness. This should be good beer, but I'm not expecting fireworks.

Partridge In A Pear Tree Belgian-Style Abbey Ale is not as delicious as expected. There's a serious shortage of malt, which leads to a dearth of depth and a curtailment of complexity. Positives include decent balance (that favors sweet) and alcohol masking par excellence.

Specifics of the flavor profile include caramel, candied cherries, orange peel, apricots, leather and a light, woodsy, herbal spiciness. Too much tart fruitiness keeps the taste score from the next highest number. Patrick may have set out to brew a quad, but he missed the mark this time.

The mouthfeel takes both barrels: not enough malt and too few bubbles. Full and nougat chewy would have been good. Medium and expansively creamy would have been even better. Thinnish (for the style and the ABV) and flattish doesn't get it done.

Despite impressive bottles, impressive labels, impressive beer names and what appears to be a 'nice guy' owner-brewer, The Bruery has yet to impress me. Partridge In A Pear Tree doesn't change that. Here's hoping that the next eleven days of Christmas give craft beer lovers more to celebrate.

Dec 08, 2009
WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4/5  rDev -0.5%

Jul 04, 2013
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Dukeofearl from California

4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The day I received the Bruery's email announcement of this release, I excitedly went to my local (LaBodega in Riverside, CA.) and was very pleasantly surprised to find 750 ml bottles listed at $10.99. This was a surprise because this place usually is a week or two behind in stocking a given release, and also this is a fair price for a Quad out here in the boonies. So I picked up a few bottles to try; will get more to age if I like it.

Pours a semi-cloudy amber-brown without a lick of carbonation; not unusual for the style, but I would have liked a hint. This is at the other end of the scale from the Saison, which was crazy foamy.

Aroma is sweet dark fruits- plums and raisins and dark cherries and essence of Brandy. Flavor is also mostly sweet fruits, with a moderate alcohol kick that reminds one of the 11% ABV. Nice and tasty; would have liked a bit more complexity, but still pretty good. Pretty sugary too. Heavy rich mouthfeel. More drinkable than it should be for the alcohol content.

I usually don't mention other beers in a review, but for me the standards of this style are Rochefort 10 and Pannepot (admittedly in different ways). When I drink those, my mouth does the happy dance of flavor and all is well with the world. This beer is very good, but does not hit my mouth the same way. Very good, but not quite at their level.

I hope the suggested aging (can you say a 12 Days of Christmas "Vertical Epic"???) will reduce the sugars, build the complexity and tone down the alcohol burn a bit, and this one might be fantastic. I definitely will be buying more.

Dec 17, 2008
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drabmuh from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought I was just hanging out with some friends drinking some pedestrian world class beers like bourbon barrel plead the fifth and Chocolate rain when the always lovely Thorpette decides to turn it up to 11 with this special bottle from her cellar. Thanks a ton, one of my biggest wants.

Beer is brown, hazy, thin off white head, wispy, low lacing, moderate carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is biscuity, strong, mild alcohol, great yeast aromas, fruity, esters, smells awesome.

Beer is medium in body, a great quad. Sweet, strong yeast palate in the middle of the beer. Great finish not dry. No astringency. Dark fruits and malt throughout. Great connectivity and a good beer. I wish I had more. Maybe in 8 more years.

Jan 02, 2012
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a rather modest head that also is modest when it comes to lacing; retention, in light of that, is a positive element

Smell: Cidery aroma with caramel coated apples, pears (why not?), earthy tea elements and rum-soaked dates

Taste: Spice cake, caramel coated apples and earthy tea up front, with an increasing tart lemon and pear fruit aspect developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the candi sugar and fruity character balances out the tartness to produce a lenghty and complex finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with prickly, though moderate, carbonation

Drinkability: Though it is a smidge too sweet, this is a complex and well-brewed stab at a Belgian style that few American brewers do well

Nov 15, 2009
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle acquired in trade.

Poured a dark and clouidy brown with red edges and an averaged sized off whtie head. Aromas of raisins, pears, plums, caramel, and light spices. Tastes of the same fruits, spices, caramel, and nutty. Overall the alcohol was well hidden.. I look forward to this series continuing through the years.

Dec 29, 2008
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victory4me from Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Mar 18, 2013
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2beerdogs from California

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Mar 29, 2012
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Derek from Canada (BC)

4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas in July!

With an upcoming move, I won't risk this one...

A: Deep chestnut-amber with a slight haze, light tan head, thin ring of retention leaves a little leg.

S: Plum pudding. Enough said.

T: Sponge toffee, figs, brown sugar, golden raisins, candied fruit, nectarines, modest bitterness, slight alcohol warmth.

M: Fairly full body with a moderate residual sweetness for the style.

D: A 'sweet' sipper.

Jul 25, 2010
Partridge In A Pear Tree from The Bruery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 174 ratings