Papier | The Bruery

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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Halcyondays on 05-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 226 |  Reviews: 109
Reviews by flannelman808:
Photo of flannelman808
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: This bottle sais 75% oak aged 25% bourbon aged. 2009 anniversary. bottle number 0781.
This beer pours with a few very large bubbles, but has little or no head (not surprising given the 14.5% ABV). The color is sort of a deep murky brown/ocher hue.

Smell: I smell candied malts, and caramel. Brown sugar and bourbon barrel come through as well. With no head Im not getting a huge bouquet on this one.

mouthfeel: This beer has a oil slick quality on the tongue. It is a very long finishing brew as well.

Taste: Wow lots of complexity here. sweet malty goodness followed by a woody taste and then a nice hoppy bitterness. This beer works the entire palate over...twice. The finish is very long and ever changing. I also get some deep dark fruit with perhaps a little sour cherry as well.

At 14.5% I couldn't have to many of these, but its rather drinkable for its strength.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of stakem
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.

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Photo of ricke
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy color. Viscous. A minimal brown head consisting of big bubbles settles fast and leaves minimal lacings.

S: Lots of powerful aromas. Molasses, brown sugar, raisins, leather and vinous fruits. Hints of boozy bourbon and alcohol. Very complex.

T: The taste is very sweet with rich malty flavors. Notes of vinous fruits, molasses, vanilla and oak. Leather, bourbon, raisins, toffee... feels like I can sit forever and pick out different components. Very impressive. The finish is somewhat bitter and is characterized by a pleasant well integrated warming flavor of peppery alcohol.

M: Full-bodied with some carbonation. Very smooth.

D: A very impressive beer. Complex and balanced, rich and heavy. Despite the massive sweetness, it doesn't get one-sided, due to a whole range of interesting aromas.

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Photo of Callmecoon
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.

Bottle No. 1,377 of 4,777. The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is dark fruit, oak, vanilla, chocolate and alcohol. The flavor is caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla and bourbon. The alcohol is very well hidden for a beer that has nearly 15 percent alcohol. This is one of the most drinkable high alcohol beers I have tried. Low carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml waxed bottle poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a very dark black with some light hints of ruby/deep brown with a small off white head. Nose is very rich with roasted malt, oak and bourbon.

Taste is very rich and has a lot of woody/oaky/bourbon as expected but it's really excellent and one of the best beers I've had in a long time. Also has a tinge of tart/sour to it but it's very subtle and crisp.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.24/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle (2009)

The Bruery RS Initiation Party 2012

(Aged for 2+ years)

Murky, dark amber and caramel in color with not much visible carbonation. This leaves an oily sheen on the glass.

The aroma is quite nice, though a bit acidic, which I don't think was the brewer's intention. The sweet component of brown sugar, caramel, and toffee comes through nicely, along with a hint of red wine vinegar sharpness, unfortunately.

The flavor too is nice, well-rounded, and very drinkable. The sweet, complex flavors of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and mild maple complement each other nicely. There's a hint of acid that isn't the most pleasant.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

This was my first time trying this beer, though I imagine, at least this bottle, has seen better days.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Capone's in Norristown. Excited to try it even though it says it is quite cellarable.

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown tinged with crimson. Just a very fine ring of head with minimal lacing and very low carbonation. The color of the beer looks very nice in the light, despite the lack of head and carbonation.

Smell- A very interesting mixture. Picking up on some interesting cherry, vanilla, tobacco, and slight bourbon. Wood is evident, but I really get the cherry and vanilla most heavily in the nose.

Taste- More of the same. Lots of vanilla, cherries, tobacco, some bourbon warmth, and a touch of wood. Quite complex and intriguing.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is just a touch thin, emphasized a bit by the lack of carbonation. However, the complexity of the taste makes this one quite drinkable despite the strength. I'll have to pick up one or two more of these to age, as I agree with the aging potential.

Overall, interesting and complex. Pick it up if you get the chance. I suspect this one will get much better with age as well.

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Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Bruery.

Pours a purplish-black color with a very thin tan head. The head recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving almost no lacing.

Smells of bourbon with good amounts of caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, and hints of toffee. As it warms very small whiffs of milk chocolate escape the glass.

Tastes great. Bourbon and vanilla flavors start things off but soften as caramel and butterscotch flavors join in. Midway through the sip the dark fruit flavors - figs and plums - manage to sneak in before a syrupy finish leaving a bourbon and toffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a very nice thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my (admittedly small) glass and could have another (as long as it were no larger).

Overall this was a very interesting beer and I hope to try the 100% BA versions at one point. This is worth a shot.

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Photo of nkersten
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a murky brown with no head despite a vigorous pour. Thought it was still, but after some swirling around there are some tiny bubbles forming around the middle and edge.
S- Booze, lots of malt complexity that end up smelling like raisin and dark fruits, some more booze, some sweet oak charcater.
T- Very sweet caramel, vinous dried fruits, slightly boozy but not nearly as hot as you would expect for a 14.5% brew. Some oak, a little bourbon in the finish.
M- While not flat, this one is as close as you can get. At the bottom end of carbonation for the style, but probably within range. Heavy body coats and leaves a warming feel.
D- I probably should have shared this one as I dont know if I can finish the whole 750ml on my own. This is a big beer with a lot of strong flavors, probably best saved for the serious old ale fan.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to SuzyGreenberg for the bottle.

Pours a murky ruby brown with absolutely no head whatsoever.

Nose is full of sweet caramel and big malty notes. Some brown sugar and a little bit of vanilla are in there as well, and of course, booze.

Well. Where to start. Super complex with large sweet raisin and plum notes. Caramel and some toffee are also evident. Vanilla and oak are obvious, and booze definitely shows up. The finish is slick and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel sucks. This beer is about 2% carbonated and it shows. The viscosity is where it should be, which is the only reason this gets anything above a 1 for mouthfeel. Low carbonation is acceptable in a beer like this, but no carbonation is inexcusable. Must be a California thing...haha.

Drinkability is ok, but the alcohol heat definitely shows up, and the poor mouthfeel does not help either.

Overall, this beer has potential to be fantastic, but what apparently is bad QC has completely negated that. Alot of promise in this one though, would be quite tasty if it was carbonated, and not quite so hot. Probably would have amazing cellaring capabilites. A beer with alot of potential, but horrible execution.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at The Ginger Man. Black with little faint lace dots. Faint bourbon aroma. Like a chocolate burboun barleywine. Rich, but a sipper, and would need a whole meal. Not so drinkable right after work. A characteristic is that it is a bit syrupy, slick oily.

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Photo of DJButters
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of leschkie
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Photekut
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of qcbrewer
4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

Bottle split between Ben(madorb) and myself. Poured into a Russian River Goblet.

This beer is a dark chocolate cola color with a tiny collar of egg shell bubbles.

The nose is oak, bourbon, funky cheese, sweet malt, ALCOHOL, chocolate.

The first sip hits me with sweet malts, cheese, dark fruit, a little soy, bourbon, oaky tannins, a little booze which is nuts because the nose is pretty hot. It's quite tasty and interesting. The funky cheese is really interesting as well.

Mouthfeel is slick and full with a very low level of carbonation.

This beer is very tasty, but the abv is a bit too much for more than one glass. My first Bruery beer and I look forward to trying many more!

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Photo of MASPuros
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of mikey711
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately this review will be short. Just before I pressed sent my power went out due to hail, and the beer was gone. It was almost brown in color with minimal head little lacing. It smelled great though with lots of smoky peat, bourbon. It tasted very much as it smelled, but the bourbon was not overwhelming and nice vanilla notes were present as well. There is some sweetness present too enjoyable. The mouthfeel was boozy yet lighter than expected Definitely would benefit from aging, but I dont know if I can make it a decade, which the bottle suggests, before trying it again.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of nickd717
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by alfrantzell - thanks, Arne! Copied from tasting notes again after earlier review was deleted.

A - Dark reddish brown pour with no head, just a ring, and not much lacing to speak of.

S - Aroma is very nice with brown sugar, coffee, dark fruits, and alcohol.

T - Sweet and fairly complex, with lots of brown sugar, caramel, and toffee, prune, raisin, oak, vanilla, and mild roast. This is a very sweet beer, but I like 'em that way sometimes.

M - Palate is smooth with medium body and minimal carbonation. Did Lost Abbey have a hand in this? Long finish though with some alcoholic warmth.

D - Pretty good. Good stuff, but not much different from Virgin Papier IMO.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a taster. Bottle 1262.

Appearance - Deep murky brown. Chunky head. A few bubbles at the edge.

Smell - Oxidized sherry like flavors. Vanilla, caramel, some bourbon. Fruity. Oxidation is nice.

Taste - Oxidation is much more prevalent. Barrel less noticable. Caramel masked by lots of dark fruits. Slight acidity to it, but not oppressive.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Slick and a touch bitter. Doesn't drink like its ABV.

Overall - These anniversary beers get better with oxidation. True solera method means later iterations could be really good in years to come.

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Photo of russpowell
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this one from HopStoopid120, cheers Tony!

Bottle 3589 pours a semi-murky chestnut with a sliver of mocha colored head. Nice viscosity to this along with some shreds of head retention

S: Prunes, raisins, cherries & oaky booze, loads of port notes

T: Dark fruit, woodyness, cherries, a touch licorice schnapps & much dryness up front, some leafy hops & figs in the mix. Chocolate covered cherries, boozey figs & dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes with much oak, a little cherry, a bit more booze, & just a bit too much dryness to give 4.5, close

MF: Chewy as all get out, fairly still carbonation, pretty warming indeed

Drinks a touch slow, but spot-on for style & ABV. Maybe I should've waited, would love try this in about 4 months when the weather should be at least 35 degrees cooler; but curiosity & my sweet tooth was calling. Not bad, but I'd love to have a case or 2 of this & just see how it gets better. Not bad at all for its young age as it is...

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Photo of scootny
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep dark brown with a thin tan head. A ring of bubbles and some spots and streaks on the side of the glass. A bit underwhelming but still pretty.

Smell is where it picks up. Rich malt, fruity and port like. This is something different. Figs, dates, raisins and some sweet alcohol. Brown bread and burnt sugar with toasted pumpernickel.

Taste returns to the port simile. This is like a cross between an old ale and port wine. Or maybe a low carbonation version of a port. Either way I like it very much. The dark breads and dark fruits combine sweetly and integrate with the barrel characteristics to create a new take on the style. Chocolate cherries and rum cake. Rum soaked two year old fruitcake. Some vanilla and soy sauce. Malt core flows through and says beer, not wine buddy. Layer upon layer unfolds with each sip. Alcohol is just there but ducks away to reappear in the finish. Hops are mild as they should be but scrub the mouth enough to leave a dryness in the middle of the malted fruitiness. Graham and raisins linger with light alcohol esters. Feel is lightly syruped with just a touch of carbonation. A full but just short of thick brew.

Drinkability is surprisingly good for a beer of this weight. This is a bottle for after dinner at Thanksgiving or other large gatherings. Each sip is to be savored and spaced appropriately.

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Papier from The Bruery
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 226 ratings