The Bruery

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The Bruery
California, United States
Old Ale
4.02 | pDev: 13.68%
Dec 24, 2020
May 17, 2009
Notes: Papier is our first anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain. The traditional first anniversary gift is something made of paper. The Bruery is giving their loyal fans the gift of Papier, their first anniversary ale. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Papier is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark our first big milestone. Best for sharing, this beer is ideal for cellaring until you have a celebration of your own…if you can wait.
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Photo of edthehead
Reviewed by edthehead from Maryland

4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Caramel brown shadowy appearance with a beige modest head that recedes quickly to a collar, minor lacing. Caramel, vanilla, molasses, smoke. Medium body, medium carbonation.
Dec 24, 2020
Rated: 3.5 by TallGuyCM from California

Jun 25, 2020
Photo of DefenCorps
Reviewed by DefenCorps from Oregon

3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Bottle from SB D&L from way way back.

A deep mahogany brown with reddish highlights, this beer has no head or lacing. The nose is sweet and oxidized, rich and caramelized. There's a little tobacco, a little butterscotch, a moderate amount of dark caramel and dark corn syrup, a little buckwheat honey. Sherry and a moderate toffee note are present. The palate opens sweet with some bitter dark brown sugar and burnt caramel. Leather, sherry, lots of sherry and some port are present. Boozy heat tempers the sweetness. Dark caramel, a moderate burnt sugar note and some almond skin tannins are present on the finish. Full in body, softly carbonated, this is lush on the palate and quite the boozy beast. Solid stuff - this style doesn't quite do it for me anymore, but this beer is solid.
Sep 04, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2009 vintage; drank 4/1/16 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Muddy purple/brown appearance.

Minimal tan head; no lace.

Strong notes of brandy & raisin in the nose, with a mild apple cider finish.

Flat, medium thick mouthfeel.

Brandy & raisin flavors up front; apple cider notes on the finish. Caramel notes emerged as this warmed.

This sweet treat is holding up quite well...
Jul 05, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Review from a pour at the Bruery Reserve Society Tasting November 19, 2011. Pours a murky brown, lighter tan colored head on it about 1/6" deep. Aroma was bourbon, toffee, caramel, raisin, maris otter and brown malt like heft to it.

Taste, wow, the original boozy cracker jack in the formula. Nougat. Burnt and turnt sugar, vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel, chocolate dipped raisin. For being just the essential base from which all solera will follow, this is surprisingly complex. I might not have liked it as much as say, Fruet, but its damn good, these things don't get enough love. Carbonation was nice and appropriately somewhat lesser than your average beer. There is a hint of dark fruit bitterness that is more present here than in others in the series.

Its a really good beer, and like all in the series, it covers the alcohol very well. I wish I had more than one of these left. IIRC the bottle is #775.
Jan 31, 2019
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This is now 9 years old. Poured from fridge temp into big balloon snifter. Pours a murky brown with almost no head. Nose is nuts, figs, port/sherry, caramel, and raisins. Reminds me of an aged English barleywine. Taste is also along those lines. Nice and sweet, with a bitter backbone. Huge toffee notes, bourbon, figs, raisins, fudge, and candy. Definitely getting an odd bitterness and some oxidation. It's probably past its prime, but still tasting great. Mouthfeel is robust.
Oct 14, 2018
Rated: 3.82 by KAP1356 from Pennsylvania

Sep 25, 2018
Photo of Phil-Fresh
Reviewed by Phil-Fresh from California

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

A: Toffee like malt aroma, with some light dark fruits, with moderately light oxidative note.

A: Deep brown color, opaque, with a rocky tan uneven head that quickly forms a fine ring around the glass.

T: Lots of malt character with a toffee/caramel flavor, light dried fruits with a moderate oxidation, faint sherry flavor with noticeable alcoholic strength and a slightly sweet finish.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation.

O: Solid; the beer is starting to show some oxidization, but is still a very drinkable old ale.
May 24, 2017
Rated: 4.19 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Apr 18, 2017
Rated: 3.97 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut

Jun 29, 2016
Rated: 4.28 by ItsYourBoyBlue from Washington

May 08, 2016
Rated: 4 by bkwhoppa66 from New Jersey

Mar 21, 2016
Photo of cvm4
Reviewed by cvm4 from Mississippi

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottled #3427 of #4777

I'm going to go into this not expecting a fresh & vibrant beer. I know it has some age on it.

L - Pours a really unattractive muddy brown body with a head that you barely notice. For all that I know, the beer is basically flat. I guess the lack of a hiss when opening it should have been an indicator.

S - The smell is intoxicating! Gobs of dark stone fruits with rich caramel and candied syrup.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with oxidation brought into the fold. Aside from that, taste follows the nose.

F - Full bodied and light to almost no carbonation. Has a wet finish.

O - This has held up better than I was expecting. I big brew that, IMO is on the downward trend, but has somewhat held up to the test of time.
Mar 13, 2016
Photo of stakem
Reviewed by stakem from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
750ml black waxed bottle #4277 of 4777. Poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears a very dark brown with a khaki head that is comprised of very large bubbles. As the cap fades, it leaves spotty lace on the glass. Visually, this appears to be lacking carbonation.

Aroma is, lots of it then a hint of raisony alcohol and leather. Some caramel, molasses and a hint of oak. Yesterday I opened a bottle of Coton and the day before that a bottle of Cuir, both of them showcased deep layerings of oxidation. I get zero oxidative character in the nose of this bottle of Papier which is interesting considering this is the oldest of the 3 beers mentioned.

Taste has just as much dry, roasty chocolate flavor as the nose leads on. Then raisony alcohol and a firm herbal bitterness that lasts with an oily cling. There is plenty of malt character left tasting of caramel and almost a burnt molasses with enough residual sweetness to combat both the alcohol and bitterness. Only once the brew gets warm do I start to notice some mild oxidative quality but honestly, I am shocked at how little is present in comparison to Cuir and Coton.

This is medium to fuller bodied with light carbonation which I feel is fitting for this big sipper. For being 7 years old, I think its fantastic and holding up much better than some people claim, perhaps thats bottle variation and storage conditions playing into others experiences. For me, this is great and it tastes better than many of the others in the anniversary series.
Jan 11, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by dddddddd from Washington

Jan 05, 2016
Photo of BeerImmediately
Reviewed by BeerImmediately from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
6 years in the cellar. Broke out tonight for, well, no special occasion ... just continuing to clear the cellar.

Pours with no real carbonation... virtually flat. I'm ok with that.
Very dark brown to amber in color.
Aromas are full of rich, fermented fruit plus oak.. Dates, cherry, and raisin.
Mouthfeel is rich - not too cloying, as you might expect from a 14% beer... maybe it's the style.
Flavors are full of the rich fruits in the aroma, plus lots of oak / vanilla, and a bit of black licorice.

This one held up ok - no spoilage. Probably aged it too long, but was happy with the beer overall.
Nov 29, 2015
Rated: 4 by WynnO from Florida

Oct 11, 2015
Photo of ivegot3Dvision
Reviewed by ivegot3Dvision from Oregon

3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Alright, I had this last night with a vertical of the anniversary ales... it wasn't the best of the lot unfortunately.

A - Opened the bottle to not much hiss. Poured into a Bruery tasting glass (the original printed ones), poured a VERY murky brown, mind you it had been sitting upright for a good few weeks. There was little to no carbonation, even when I poured it hard.

S - Smelled great, lots of dried fruits and caramel malts with a smattering of oxidation.

T - Tasted very similar to the nose, which is nice. Definitely oxidized over the years, but in a good way.

M - Chewy and somewhat thick because of the lack of carbonation, but I'm fine with that, it's the mouthfeel I wanted out of the beer.

O - It was good, I'm glad I got to try it, but I can't help but think that the 25/75 blend gave me a beer that wasn't as interesting and lasting as I had hoped.
Aug 09, 2015
Rated: 4.66 by Sanderson from Washington

Jun 14, 2015
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Been holding onto this for a looooong time, original batch from 2009, had all the other anniversaries so needed to crack this one. Shared with rudzud and kyle.

Original batch from 2009, bottle number 2006.

Pours no real head, super dark maroon brown color touch of mahogany light coming through.

Nose brings tons of sweet candy malt, toffee, nutty, candy syrup, lots of aged soft malts, little nougat, etc. Some oxidation is def there, not a ton but some, little candied raisin, mild oak, toasted oak no real bourbon or vanilla.

Taste hits with sweet candy, sharp sweet candy and caramel syrup, so sweet, syrupy mess and some warming booze, nutty toffee, etc. Little candied syrupy raisin syrup, little bitterness still. Mild oxidation, not much, and a little toasted oak also not a ton. Finish is sticky sweet, little more booze, more candied raisin and syrupy candy lingering.

Mouth is fuller bod, very syrupy and sweet, no real carb either, plenty of hot booze.

Overall better than expected, some oxidation but not a ton, bit boozy and very sweet.
May 16, 2015
Papier from The Bruery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 231 ratings