The Bruery

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English Old Ale
4.08 | pDev: 13.48%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
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.
Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 229 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by inlimbo77:
Photo of inlimbo77
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 2009 (3266 of 4777)
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours murky brown reddish color. Very minimal carbonation. Not even a collar. Alcohol feet.

S: Booze is still there, but muted. Caramel and toffee. Sticky toffee pudding. Dark fruits: prunes, plums, raisins, etc. As others have mentioned, oxidation is there.

T: Lots of dark fruit. Prune. Raisin. Some bourbon. Vanilla hints even though is partially aged. Finish has some lingering sweetness.

M: Medium full body.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of stakem
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
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 Sparky44
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a smooth tan head. Nose is complex and inviting. Sweet whiskey hits you first and yields to sweet fruit, molasses, vanilla and hints of sweet cherry.

Mouthfeel is big and full although some age will make it a bit "thicker." A bit thinner than one might expect but, again, age will improve this characteristic.

Flavors follow the nose with dark cooked fruit, plums and figs, brown sugar/malt and full of whiskey tones. Big, full bodied and expressive flavors with a full rich finish. This is going to be superb with some age. One can only imagine the rarer barrell aged versions which I will open as part of a tasting...a tasting soon since I'm one who likely won't be able to wait!

This is a brew worth trying now and very much worth following for as long as you can discipline yourself to hold some bottles. This is clearly one of the best quality beers from The Bruery.

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Photo of mhatters
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a 75cl bottle with a friend at the South Philly Tap Room

Pours a mahogany color with reddish highlights. A thick tan-brown head caps this beauty.

A huge nose - dark, sweet - not sugar but blackstrap-like, whiskey is there, as is vanilla, dark fruit, roasted malts, raisin, and alcohol. Quite probably the biggest nose I have enver encountered. Deep, dark, and alluring..

The flavor is also huge - loads of whiskey, dark fruit, and sweetness. The roasted malt has some coffee flavor as well. Again, the alcohol is omni-present and massive. It all works.

Almost not carbonated, a bit of bubbliness is there - the mouthfeel is big and deep. The alcohol is always there.

We had this on a great recommendation from the bar tender, it was massive, and enjoyable - but would be better as a last beer of the day (or night). One of the biggest beers I have ever had

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Photo of nkersten
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
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 juliusseizure
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of John11486
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of bret27
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle courtesy of swimsum I believe. 1 of 2 beers I was able to rate during this crazy tasting.

A: Dark brn, w/minimal head

S: Spices, figs, bourbon, vanilla

T: Caramel, vanilla, boozey, complex. Lots going on in this one but hard to pin down all the flavors.

M/D: Smooth and syrupy, almost no carbonation presence in mouthfeel. Sweet, syrupy, boozey, not the greatest drinkability, but good for hellaciously high abv.

Overall: I liked this, and would seek out more of the variations if presented w/the opportunity.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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 KAP1356
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of EasyReader
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. I think I'm rating the right one if I say its 75% oak barrel and 25% bourbon?

A: Really dark muddy brown with just some bubbles for head, no lacing, yellow and orangish highlights as well.

S: Leather, prune, dark fruit, some kitchen spice like faint oregano, oak notes, a little bourbon alc. heat, nice overall.

T: Wow nice oak mixing with dark fruit juicy notes like pomegranate, vanilla, sugary leather notes, some bittersweet notes at the back of palate, maybe even grape-cranberry notes. Complex and nice.

M: 14.5%? Could have fooled me. Very smooth and viscous.

D: Big and touch after a while to get down, but a great tasting beer.

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Photo of bauermj
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of bbeane
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into my PALM snifter... Black in color with a weak brown head. No light shines through when held up to the ceiling

S- Without even putting my nose close to the glass I can smell dark fruits and booziness. After some swirls of my snifter... still an overwhelming aroma of dark fruits, plums, figg, cherries,raisins mixed the earthy smell of the oak barrels. Very boozy

T- Whoa... this one is still really hot even after sitting for a year in the cellar. The taste is perfectly described by your nose in it's smell. Has a nice malty sweet flavor of dark fruits, primarily the plum, raison, and figg with an oaked backbone

M- Very little carbonation with heavy but not chewy body

D- I'm bummed this one is retired... I thought it was great. I don't recall exactly what I payed for it but think it was a bit pricey, and worth every dollar. If you haven't had this and you find one, buy it


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Photo of drummermattie02
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of juhl31
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Wire 5.2/Cellar Beer Night #2

-the beer poured a very dark brown color. what head was displayed was tan in color with big colors. left for good quickly

-there are some dark fruits in there for sure and the bourbon mixes in nicely

-the bourbon flavor blends in well from start to finish on the taste. the dark fruits involved seem to be figs and dates up front and then there is a big raisin finish. some chocolate also seems to show up late in the game

-this is a big time sugar bomb. you can just feel the sugar in the back of your throat and your teeth feel anxious. that being said, it is a very thin beer considering the ABV and malt character

-i really enjoyed this beer for its uniqueness and strong flavor, but it definitely needs to be shared by more than 3 people. the more you drink the more laborious it gets to finish the rest

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Photo of Trystero
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of moonknight31
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of stevefinny
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Rckmo10
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml wax top bottle into a tasting snifter glass. Pours a murky brownish orange at first, but fills the glass a muddy looking brown. Even with a slightly aggressive pour, no real head to speak of, and therefore no lacing either. Appears to be no carbonation through the pour as well.

Wow, aroma is intense. Very sweet wine like aroma. Raisin, huge malts, bourbon booze! This smells like it's going to be quite a sipper!

Intense, viscous, sweet...VERY SWEET, very boozy, malty, I was right, this is definitely a sipper. This is a great beer! The sweetness factor almost makes it overwhelming...but sipping it makes it tolerable. Therefore, the drinkability rating has to come down. The fruit notes are raisin and plum?? Again, what a good beer!

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Photo of Tom8Analise
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

We opened this beer for my 22nd b-day!"Which is today" It's number 1915..

A- Pours a nice dark brown with no head at all.

S- Smells like a caramel apple that was fermented.

T- Taste is very similar to the smell. Tastes like apple cider that was spiked ! Very delicious indeed and Very sweet and satisfying!

M- Mouth feel is very smooth .. Has absolutely no carbonation at all.

D- Drinkability is good but we would definitely recommend aging this beer for a few years.. the alcohol is soo overwhelming that you can't enjoy all the flavors that this beer has to offer.

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Photo of TheKingsOfHop
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle #1998/4777 poured into tulip shape glasses:

A: Little to no head, just a lace of vanilla around the rim on top of a dark maple body, with a vibrant rosy tint to it. Absolutely looks delicious.

S: Port wine, maple syrup, brown sugar, and toffee. Then the alcohol pulls through a little bit, just to be covered up again by the overall sweetness of this beer.

T: Dark fruit on the front of the palate, with the alcohol definitely making itself known. (Although that is expected do to the high ABV.) Then comes a rush of sweet maple syrup, caramel apple dipped in hazelnuts, vanilla, oak, with banana bread on the side. Really a nice treat for the taste buds.

M: Thick like maple syrup with very little carbonation. The alcohol gives a perfect sensation/warming throughout your mouth, and then into the chest. This beer makes dreams come true.... not really sure what that means, but I think were starting to feel the effects of this wonderfully complex masterpiece.

D: We could share at least two of these bottles, definitely a sipper, but still goes down extremely well, and a lot easier than we thought it would.

The Kings Of Hop

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Papier from The Bruery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 229 ratings