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Melange No. 3 | The Bruery

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Melange No. 3Melange No. 3

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A blend of Black Tuesday, anniversary ale, and White Oak Sap.

Added by Floydster on 02-14-2009

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Reviews: 258 | Ratings: 1,823
Photo of carps12
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large tulip. Thanks to my buddy Alex who picked up this 32oz flip top from New Beer for me. Pours black with a gorgeous tan head that sits for awhile until relaxing into a nice caramel lace. Smell is loads of cherries and dark chocolate mixed with some booze. I also pick up a lot caramel and other overly ripe dark fruits. Very interesting. This one is warm going down. Tastes of same smell notes. A little booze sits on the finish. Smooth going down with perfect carbonation on the finish. There is a big sweetness to the taste like fruit compote that you notice right away. Some Graham cracker is mixed in. I do notice a slight bitterness that imperfects the finish. The booziness is getting to me half way through the glass making this tough to polish . The smell on this is intriguing. I'm glad I got to try it, but won't seek this one out again.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to egrace84 for sharing this beer! Thanks elliot!

poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with a white collar.

Smell: Really wood with big barrel notes. Huge malt profile. Dark fruits, caramel, toffee.

Taste: Bourbon and oak are huge in this beer. Very malty and very sweet beer. Dark fruits and candied sugar, caramel, toffee notes.

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer with low carbonation. This beer is alot hotter than most bruery beers brewed at this strength of ABV. It just so boozey hot.

Overall: This one was pretty decent, but it did not blow my mind. A good American strong ale for sure, but one try was good enough for me. The barrel and bourbon is just too big right now. I would sit on this bottle for 2 or 3 years if I had a bottle.

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Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mystery bottle at Jon's turned out to be Melange #3. Been waiting to review this.

Dark, caramely pour yields minimal head. White ring up top disappears quickly. Lots of malt and caramel in the nose carry through to the taste. Big booze component helps coat the mouth & soothes my throat as I drink. Thick, sticky body helps bring the complexity forward.

Tasty but not amazing, and I can't drink more than a couple ounces of this. Still enjoyable!

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Photo of brotherloco
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. The latest edition (15% ABV). Served in a snifter.

Pours a translucent cola brown with half a finger of light beige foam. Settles to a frothy ring. No lacing left behind.

Aroma reminds me mostly of the Bruery anniversary old ales. Caramel, vanilla, chocolate with bourbon notes. I suppose I get some of the fruity and floral notes from the White Oak Sap. Slight alcohol burn.

Flavor is quite similar to the old ales as well, at least at first. Intensely sweet initial flavor with strong dark fruit and sherry notes. It seems the Black Tuesday emerges through the middle and finish as a more roasted malt character appears. Floral, fruity, and spicy wheat malt are there too. The finish dries up with some port-like alcohol notes, but the sweetness never goes away and lingers through the aftertaste.

Full bodied with medium-low carbonation. Kind of thick and syrupy.

Overall this is another big and tasty beer from the Bruery, and I enjoy the idea of blending, but it isn't better than the stand-alone components.

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Photo of Holland
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: great dark brown color with lighter highlights and an excellent head for a beer of this gravity. Very cloudy - not sure if this was because it was in the fridge for a week or from bourbon barrel aging or something else.

S: fantastic sweet smell of bourbon, oak, vanilla, toffee

T: very sweet after a while, but you get all of the wonderful flavors of toffee, bourbon, and sweet malt along with some rich fruit.

M: thick, but balanced with solid carbonation.

O: solid beer, but too sweet. I shared the bottle with one other, but half of that is way too much. Should have shared with 4 people. Still an excellent beer.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chad for sharin this one! Pours a very dark brown color with a small tan head. Scent is very chocolatey. Slightly boozy. Nice raspberry and cherry aromas. Candied sugar and bourbon. Taste is quite boozy throughout the whole experience, yet its flavors remain nicely balanced and smooth. Great cherry and vanilla oak flavors. Lovely chocolate and malt flavors from the Black Tuesday. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and boozy. Drinkability is fairly high for such a huge beer. Overall, a great beer that definitely needs more time to develop in the bottle.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Dark, reddish-brown, off-white faint head
S: Same as taste
T: Sweet, bourbon, peat, roasted malt, burnt sugars
F: Big, perfectly balanced, really enjoyed the mouth on this
O: Still pretty hot, a big beer but with some age, it would be just fine!

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. 2013 vintage. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Peg's snifter.

A: Pours a caramelly brown color with a thin off-white head and low visible carbonation. Very hazy.

S: Bourbon, caramel, vanilla. Quite sweet, moderately boozy. Some sticky malts, dry tannins from the barrel.

T: Bourbon and barrel character with huge vanilla and dry tannins. Toasted caramel, sweet roasted malts, a moderate dark fruit character. As it warms, some mixed sticky fruit flavors come out - reminds me of what I would expect a fruitcake would taste like, although I've never tried one. Finishes drier/less sweet than expected, but still possesses some ethanol sweet burning character.

M: Medium-bodied, carbonation sensation on the low side. Alcohol presence is obvious but seems well-hidden with respect to the listed ABV.

O: I enjoyed this one. It was a surprisingly easy driver for such a huge beer. Nothing I'd always need on hand, but a nice blend for sure. Glad to have tried it finally.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour was fairly black with some cola brown mixed in. nice creamy head covered it.

very sweet with an abundance of vanilla, plum, fig, and raisin. nice bourbon mixed in.

very sweet up front with the dark fruit kicking in. some faint tobacco and oak. lots of vanilla and bourbon. with this was some alcohol as the booze kicked in. very boozy in the finish.

fairly smooth up front with a mild carbonation that turned to alcohol burn through out the mouth.

pretty delicious but tasted young, really could use a good few more years to mellow out a bit.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is very dark in colour, but not quite black. Seems to be a very dark brown, with slight reddish hints. A small beige head, fades quickly.

Nose is big, complex and nice. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel and booze are all strong. Coconut. Some chocolate.

Taste is similar to the nose, but there is a big dark fruit component that I did not get in the smell. Cherry comes to mind. Other than that, lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla. Caramel is strong, and there is also brown sugar and molasses. A LOT of alcohol heat. One heavy beer. A very nice flavour, but a bit over the top.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Big and heavy, lots of burn. Slick.

Overall, quite good, but too extreme. I am sure this beer would have been more enjoyable at a comparatively moderate 12% or so. Very nice but hard going.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Melange No. 3 is a blend of White Oak, Papier, and Black Tuesday. This was on-tap at Small Bar Division for the Craft Brewers Conference special events. I had two 8oz pours into a tulip.

A - Pours a dark chocolate brown with a mocha/tan head. Very little head which quickly vanishes leaving only a few bubbles here and there on top. Overall, not a whole lot to look at.

S - Chocolate, plums, raisins, ultra-booze, toffee. A nice meld here and I can really pick out the sweetness of the Black Tuesday and bourbon in the Papier.

T - Lots of alcohol burn, chocolate sweetness, dark fruits. For this being a 17% beer, the alcohol is hidden pretty well. Not not over-powering, but it's there for sure. I would say this is liquid chocolate cake with infused bourbon.

M - Medium to full bodied, rich and smooth, light carbonation.

D - I enjoyed this beer more then Black Tuesday. It's a sipper, that's for sure. It took me two hours to finish two pours of this. One of the top beers for this style, but Angel's Share Grand Cru is a better beer for me. Recommend!

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Photo of lokieman
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from champagne bottle to tulip....

A: Dark brown resembling very much a quad. Very little head with the 15% abv that's to be expected and a good amount of carbonation coming off the bottom of my glass...

S: Smells of sugar soaked dark fruits and you definitely get the booze in the nose. Vanilla with a dark chocolate backbone hits you once you get past the booze and the fruit...

T: Very complex brew...I'm having to take a few seconds to absorb the flavor and try to put it into words. A lot of quad notes hit you up front with a slight cherry tartness. Definitely know that this is a boozy brew in the middle but then a roasted sweetness coats the mouth and leaves you with a nice finish. For a 15% brew the alcohol is really not as noticeable as it is in the nose. Very nice...a sipper for sure.

M: This is the one knock I have on this beer. It's missing that velvety, honey feeling in the mouth that I thought for sure would be present. A little more carbonation than I would have predicted and a little thin. Mouthfeel isn't really congruent with the rest of the features of this beer. By no means does this ruin the experience...just think they missed the target a bit with this aspect of the beer.
*Edit*: As this beer warms the mouthfeel starts to develop into that classic thin honey, Belgian viscosity. Definitely improves with some time in the glass...

O: This beer is very hard to come by in my neck of the woods and I was very grateful to be able to obtain a bottle. This beer is wonderful and if it were readily available I'm sure I'd have a few in the cellar...but unfortunately it is not. For my money I'm not sure it's worth the price you pay. For the cost of a couple bottles I could grab a case of Rochefort 10. Don't get me wrong...it's very good but just not on the same level as some of the Firestone Walker blends I've had. I would definitely drink this brew anytime it was put in front of me and I am very glad I had the opportunity to try it. Just wish it wasn't so damn expensive. These guys do a great job no matter what the cost and I'm looking forward to more Bruery offerings in the future...

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Photo of homebrew311
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this with me. Pours a thick viscous reddish color with nice clarity. There is a small amount of head which dissipates quickly and no lacing. The aroma is intensly sweet with layers of complex flavors. Deep notes of chocolate and vanilla are present first, followed by maple and molasses. The taste features and onslaught of malts up front with an expected sweet presence. A little bit of chocolate and vanilla come through along with molasses and mellow oak. The body is substantial and slightly sticky. Overall, this is incredibly intense and best enjoyed in small servings.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL waxed and capped bottle courtesy of a great trader - thanks! Split with two friends and poured in to a Bruery tulip.

Appearance:  Pours a dark molasses, brown and ruddy but not quite black, capped initially by a foamy, jumpy, fizzy head, approximately one finger high.  Retention isn't fantastic, but the level of carbonation - relatively high, visible through the sides of the glass - keeps the collar thick and foamy, present throughout.

Aroma:  Sweet, estery, blooming with bright, floral stone fruit notes.  Tons of springy, ephemeral sweetness, but it's largely devoid of identifiable "individual" fruit notes, suggesting more a sugar variety than a yeast variety.  Green and flashy, but with a few darker notes, even hinting at cocoa at points, with toastiness.  Anise, brown sugar.

Taste:  Incredibly sweet, with a ton of molasses, dark fruit sugars, and other caramelized sugars.  Raisins, digs, dates, plums, and cherries run rampant over the tongue, or perhaps more accurately their juices, because of the sweetness factor.  It's honey-like at points, saccharine, with hints of darker malts mingling with toffee, and also other barrel notes - vanilla, boubon, caramel notes, hints of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel:  Incredibly smooth and creamy, even, moderately carbonated, lessso than one would imagine based upon the image.  Perfect part of this beer.

Drinkability:  The above represent a somewhat jumbled set of notes - I was playing Settlers of Catan while reviewing this one. That being said, this is an intriguing beer, a hot beer, and a testatment to the magic of blending. Who would have thought that a wheatwine, a barrel aged imperial stout, and an old ale could combine to give you this array of flavors? That being said, it's a sipper, and a slow one, lest you inadvertently build yourself in to a corner while playing Catan without realizing it, but, that's neither here nor there.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Excellent melange. Each of the flavors comes through very well and blends together very well also. Everything I would expect from a barrel aged Bruery beer for sure.

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Photo of JulioH
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One of those great beers, it's greatness laying in the fact that you need to share this bottle.

Pours a dark beer. A few bubbles form at the top. Smells like fortified old wine. Tastes like wine too, but bitter. It is an ale and it has a lot of strength. A bit heady, sure to knock you out. Mouth feel is a bit syrupy and thick.

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Photo of spicelab
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to MrKenendy for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Deep mahogany with a beige head of modest retention. Falls to a collar.

Initial balsamic pungency gives way to stewed fruit, toffee apples, cherries, muscatels, raisins.

Flavours are wayyy richer and sweeter. Redskins, stewed plums blackcurrant and caramel fudge.

Syrupy, rich and decadent, but not overly big for the ABV. Light carbonation. All told, it's quite drinkable.

Big but balanced. The high sweetness is offset by the barrel complexity, making it a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another gem from the finewinemike tasting event.

The beer pours an amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer comes across as very sweet and boozy (what a surprise), and I seemed to pick up some of the component parts of black tuesday and barleywine. In any event, I picked up considerable sweet cherry, vanilla and underlying chocolate. This beer was very sweet and rich on the palate, as the flavor profile replicated the nose, but with more intensity than expected (and I was expecting a full flavored beer). I also seemed to pick up some brown sugar, cherry cough drops and light coffee. The alcohol is very noticeable in this boozy beer (given the abv., that's hardly a surprise), and while the beer wasn't hot on the finish, the combination of sweetness and huge alcohol tended to wear out the palate after a while. Mouthfeel was full with a very long, very smooth, rich, sweet finish.

This beer was delicious, albeit quite warming, and there' no doubt that a little bit goes a long way in this beer.

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Photo of b3shine
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to oversized snifter (thanks for the trade, Bob). Looks solid; deep and complex. Smells tasty too; bourbony and heavy. Tastes great; this beer is probably better than its average review suggests. Mouthfeel is good too. Overall, a damn good beer!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pretty wild beer here, their version of a black and tan, what a gas! the color is red and caramel mixed together, very thick like sludge, dense, minimal but lasting light brown head. I smell everything, no joke. rich malts, darker grains than the color shows, aggressive sugars, whiskey barrel, vanilla, clove, rye malt, booze, and molasses. what I don't smell or taste in this, is yeast. it is mysteriously absent from the flavor profile, not that this beer is hurting for complexity, this is a hell of a blend. dried fruit and sugar, as well as the best richest elements of black Tuesday are what I taste here. its oaky and rich, almost too much really, but the booze is not that obvious for something so high. this goes way beyond beer to something else entirely, more of a barleywine than anything, just so much happening, and such a heavy buzz from even small quantities of this. good carbonation for the size, and about all the body you can pack in. this is not my favorite beer from the bruery, but it is yet another example of their expertise in all aspects of beer making. a blend like no other, worth trying for lovers of huge brews and the bruery more generally.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to try this

The beer pours a deep dark brown. Little lacing and no head. Very mild nose, figs, tobacco, raisin and intense sweetness. The taste matches with incrediblly ripe fruits, but the burp is a hoppy molasses. Strange beer, but almost consistent with an old ale description. The booze are consistently hidden, but catch up to you. I honestly don't know how they hid >15% in this beer. Definitely a tasty beer, but I wouldn't charge more than $20 by any means.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, 2011 vintage
5oz mini snifter

A: This pours out a dirty reddish, brown color. Faint light tan head. Fades really quickly. Forms a ring around edges. Carbonation is ok considering the ABV on this monster. Definitely some alcohol feet are showing through here.

S: Big nose here. Pulling some booze. Caramel. Toffee. Vanilla. Sweet malts leading to dark fruits. As it warms, the nose opens up even more.

T: First and foremost, still getting booze in this beer. High octane is right, as others have mentioned. I let it warm up a little bit. Big toffee and vanilla notes. Almost butterscotch like. Definitely taste some of the barrel. VERY sweet beer, but I like it in moderation. Long lingering finish. This is a bottle to be split with many and enjoyed over dessert of some sort.

M: Full bodied and sweet as hell.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with a moderate frothy brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Heavy toasted chocolate, wood and coffee malt with a small alcohol aroma. Full body with a creamy texture and flat carbonation. Heavy balanced toasted sweet malt flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish with a warming burn of long duration. This is a standout beer.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with a sublte red hue, pours minimal head and almost no lacing.

Smell: Sweet, roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, oak, raisins, caramel, chocolate, toffee. There is a lot going on here.

Taste: Just like it smells. Very sweet, bourbon, vanilla, boozy, raisins, oak, chocolate, toffee.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, warm, boozy, viscous.

Overall: The BT is very prevalent, the Papier is easy to taste and I could only detect a hint of the White Oak Sap coming through. Very good beer, but I agree with other BAs that this beer tasted very young and could benefit from some added aging.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with a thin layer of cream coloured head that immediately disappeared.

S - Big barrel notes come through first - bourbon, charred oak and vanilla. Chocolate fudge and dark caramel are also present from the base beers.

T - Sweet bourbon, charred oak and vanilla dominate as the barrel notes come to the forefront. Chocolate fudge, dark caramel and molasses flavours come through as well as lighter dark fruit flavours. The Black Tuesday seems to dominate this a little too much.

M - Medium body. Almost no carbonation.

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Melange No. 3 from The Bruery
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,823 ratings.
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