Papier - Rye Whiskey-Barrel
The Bruery

Papier - Rye Whiskey-BarrelPapier - Rye Whiskey-Barrel
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Old Ale
4.47 | pDev: 9.17%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Papier - Rye Whiskey-BarrelPapier - Rye Whiskey-Barrel
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 48 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ivegot3Dvision
ivegot3Dvision from Oregon

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This has to be one of the last ones out there.

Look: zero carb, chestnut brown, nice and clear

Smell: slight oxidation, caramel, dark fruit

Taste: once again, a little oxidation but so little it's almost not perceived. Dark fruit, caramel, slightly woody, zero rye spice, sweet

Feel: syrupy due to the zero carb, but it doesn't take away from it

Overall: so glad I was able to get this. It's been in a fridge since release and it tastes nowhere near 12 years old. It's delicious and I wish I had one more to hold on to.

May 27, 2021
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Bruery just celebrated their 10th anniversary so I figured it was time to bust these old gems out. Drank along side the other 2 100% BA Papier versions.

Bottle into a snifter appears brown in color with a couple big bubbles of carbonation that quickly fade.

Aroma is earthen with tobacco/leather, but has a strong vanilla sweetness about it before getting mildly fruity with caramel too.

Taste is boozy, slightly fruity like raison with an oaked aspect tasting of coconut. Earthen across the aftertaste with plenty of solvent alcohol and neutral oak/woody flavors that meld to hints of chocolate.

Full bodied, very light on the carbonation. A very enjoyable sipper that has tons of booze and depth. This is an almost 10 year old beer and it truly is not even showing its age. Magnificent.
This differs quite a bit from the brandy and bourbon BA versions in that it has the alcohol masked the best and also has significantly more barrel character than the other two. Id drink the hell out of this but man there cannot be many left considering how limited this was even back when it was released.

Jun 07, 2018
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Sean9689 from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nerd for breaking out all 3 BA Papier's!

Pours a muddled brown color, pretty much flat, some bubbles here and there. Nose is smooth whiskey and lots of sweetness in the form of burnt sugars, caramel, molasses. Flavor is a perfect mix of booze & sweetness. As with the nose, the flavor is all smooth whiskey and burnt sugars, caramel, oak, and vanilla. Medium body, light carbonation, sweet finish.

This basically drinks like a mix between a port & straight booze, similar to Utopias. This is my favorite variant of the three, and I'd love to have this one again. Something to really sip on over a long period of time and enjoy. Excellent stuff!

Sep 06, 2012
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahogany tones at first gave the impression of an Abyss, with nothing coming up from it, but a few seconds passed and a beautiful looking tannish colored head rose up from it. At least two fingers high,

rich deep caramel smell coming off of this, literally took me by surprise. Nice aroma of oak and alcohol mixing and swirling around with it now, really starting to pick up steam the warmer it got. rich earthy tones running rampant through it. The flavors, if at all possible turned out to be better then this. It was insane what I was sipping on here by this point. Almost at a loss for words, this was the old ale I had always searched for. I was thrilled to be having this. Deep malt bomb of the highest degree now taking shape all around me, utterly fantastic in every way. Warm oak infused notes of brandy like alcohol running over the tongue, so sweet and sugary. Long drawn out finish it was, really letting you savor every last bit of the enormous and utterly amazing flavor that this one provided. I am floored.Deep dark fruit now coming through for me, really started to actually dominate the scene all together. here comes that little bit of bitterness to wrap it all up. Wow, this was amazing.

Nov 21, 2011
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Gobzilla from California

4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with maroon highlights with no head and virtually no lacing sticking to the glass. The nose was full of whiskey aromas with toffee and caramel notes popping out but I did manage to catch molasses notes as well. it also came with oaky vanilla aromas which really made the brew seem it might be quite sweet. Upfront on the palate I got a really nice chocolate, vanilla, and caramel burst of flavor alongside oak, toffee, molasses, and rye accents which had a whiskey punch as well; really complex. The brew was full bodied with almost no carbonation which had a sweet, creamy, and boozy finish. This one drank really good considering the big ABV and was easier to take down on a side by side with the regular papier; really good stuff.

Sep 12, 2010
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brokensail from California

4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gil for sharing this fine beverage.

A: The pour is a muddy and hazy amber color with no carbonation and a few bubbles after the initial pour.

S: Lots of whiskey right off the bat with vanilla, oak, tobacco and leather being quite evident as well. The base beer provides a great sweetness to the nose with caramel, toffee, and molasses.

T: Really great rye whiskey flavor up front with oak and vanilla following closely behind. Caramel, molasses, and toffee provide a great sweetness too.

M: The body is quite full with essentially no carbonation or bubbles at all.

D: Like with all the Bruery Anniversary ales, very easy to drink despite the monster ABV. This one goes down super smooth.

Sep 07, 2010
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Jmoore50 from Nevada

4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer with a hard pour produces a few bubbles, but mostly just has a heavy oily body and heavy legs. It is a nice dark cocoa color with a bronze gradient.

The smell on this one is probably the best aspect of the entire beer. I smelled lots of caramel and vanilla, more vanilla than anything. It has a great whisky and heavy booze smell that incorporates a heavy spicy rye smell thats intoxicating.

The taste is good with a mildly complex palate. It has hints of vanilla and smooth oak with some candied sugar and caramel. I feel like the strong smells that I were picking up were starting to become muddled with the overwhelming boozy flavor that this had. Lots of booze with some spicy rye in the background giving this an enjoyable complexity.

A good silky mouthfeel that has some heat. It is perfectly carbonated for this style, meaning there is very low carbonation. Either way, its a good beer.


Aug 29, 2010
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Michael for sharing this gem. Served in a tasting snifter.

A - Pours mostly still with a few bubbles. It's a dark brown color, but a bit lighter in shade compared to BA Coton.

S - Booze, oak, brown sugar, sherry-like oxidation, rye whiskey, dark fruits, molasses. Gets significantly better as it warms, so don't drink this one too fast (there are other reasons to not drink it quickly as well).

T - Taste removes a large chunk of the booze from the equation. Starts with an intense blast of sweet old ale flavors - dark fruits, vanilla, brown sugar, etc. and then ends with a whiskey and oak finish. Probably not a true 5.0, but significantly better than a 4.5, and better than the nose for sure.

M - Slight warming, no carbonation, and a surprisingly dry tannic finish with little residual stickiness. Big and chewy full-body.

D - I actually topped up my glass once it was finished being passed around. Drinks like it could be 5% lower in ABV, and the lack of carbonation strangely makes it easier to put down. Think I preferred the Brandy version and BA Coton though.

Aug 16, 2010
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Halcyondays from California

4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown, no head, but I really didn't expect it here. Nice mahogany colour.

S: Beautiful full barrel, whiskey notes. Oak, great integration, complex.

T: Heavy, heavy malt, gets sweet at the end but never cloying. Vanilla and oak, and a bit of spice, a bit hard to explain, but an outstanding taste. Lots of sweet toffee candy. Definite note of ethanol in the finish.

M: No carbonation, but the sugar and alcohol give a big, full body. Smooth and silky. Liken it to a dessert wine or port in some respects. Elegant.

D: This is a magnificent beer and makes me wonder why I waited so long to open this. Too bad I only have one. Drinking beautifully.

Feb 22, 2010
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mothman from Minnesota

4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the bruery reserve initiation. I did a side by side of each of the 3 papiers. Rye first.

Pours no head. Color is a murky ruby hued caramel brown.

Aroma: dry, rye flavored, caramel, toffee, oak, and vanilla. Not to much on the nose, but it is very solid. I love the rye.

Taste: Way more flavor here. Big rye flavors, oak, vanilla, caramel, and toffee. I get some dark fruits here as well as a little heat. A very fine beer.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy. Very warm, but delightful. Full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The rye aging really made the papier a better beer. I wish I had more of this. I cannot believe that the abv is 17%. Hardly any of that shows.

Jan 29, 2010
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Schmaltzy from California

4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Bruery Reserve initiation.

A- Pours a hazy brown color with little or no head retention. Definately darker and murkier than original Papier.

S- Heavy rye whiskey scent with a nice toffee, candi sugar, figs, dates, brown sugar, dark cherries, and vanilla oak.

T- Wow!! Amazing taste, all of the scents meld together so perfectly. Definate rye whiskey flavors, but not overwhelming just very noticeable. All the flavors are there and blend together so well that it is just so delicious and I want more.

M- Heavy beer due to the large flavors and the rye whiskey, but very smooth and light carbonation makes this a great beer.

D- Drinkability is great, I could drink this whole bottle but it is definately not a session beer due to the very hidden 17% alcohol.

All in all this is a very delicious beer that I missed out on purchasing but I was lucky enough to try this awesome beer once in my life.

Jan 20, 2010
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nickd717 from California

4.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass at The Bruery Reserve Society Initiation. This is review #1450 for me. Yes, I do realize that is hardly a milestone and nobody cares. Deal with it. Thanks to our massive beer-pooling efforts and relentless attacks on the tasting table, we were able to amass quite a bit of each -bal aged Papier incarnation. This was the best of the Papiers, with a heavenly flavor that is likely to result in a beergasm when you first try it.

Pours a muddy brown color with minimal head. It's not very pretty appearance-wise, but the true beauty lies within, sort of like the girl Jack Black's character dated in "Shallow Hal." It is in fact one of life's great ironies that this beer is the same color as crap, but its aroma and flavor are the exact opposite. Not that I have ever tasted crap.

Aroma is amazing, with smooth rye whiskey, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, vanilla, and oak.

Flavor has all these same notes, coming together incredibly well, with a strong but not overwhelming rye whiskey presence.

Smooth and almost creamy on the palate, with medium-full body, not too boozy but having great alcohol warmth. Carbonation is low but not nonexistent.

This is very drinkable. If you are going to pony up something super-rare to trade for a -bal aged Papier, try to make it this one. It is absolutely LEGEN...wait for it, and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because here comes the...dary.

Jan 20, 2010
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bulletrain76 from California

4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled at The Bruery's anniversary. Dark brown with a small head. Mellow whiskey, lots of wood, and smoke in the aroma. The flavor is a silky blend of smooth whiskey, vanilla, malt, brown sugar and wood. Full bodied and silky. The best of the three bottled versions, and it seems to have come out the best as a stand-alone beer, though I think that in the case of the Papier project, the final blend came out to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Nov 07, 2009
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OlieIPA from California

4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks Kris! Poured in my Bruery tulip glass and enjoyed with some fellow BA's.

A: Poured much darker than then the regular Papier...a mix of brown and black, but head or lacing. If held up to the light, you get a tint of red piercing the outer edges of the glass.

S: Tons of maple...more than I picked up from the non-Rye Whiskey version with multiple spice varieties. The Rye adds a bite and somewhat artificial aroma...but in a good way.

T: Wow! Seriously...WOW! Probably one of the best tasting beers I've had! Firestone 11ish! Incredible! Tons of bold flavors and little complexities that I only come across once every six months...DUDE! Seriously! Onto the flavors! Robust maple and brown sugar with hints of caramel and Belgian Christmas spices. The rest of beer was made of dark oak and whiskey flavors that really accelerated the taste to new levels. The only knock...even though it was hidden well...was the evident alcohol hotness. Other than that, this is truly a "holy grail" type of beer when it comes to flavor.

M: Could have used a little more carbonation, but still mild enough to invigorate all the flavors on my palate. Slightly creamy....full-body...awesome!

D: Epic!

Overall: Better than or on par with any Firestone, Dark Lord, and Kate-like beers when it comes to taste. Get your hands on this! Cheers!

Sep 19, 2009
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Floydster from California

4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle silver wax bottle shared by brotherliam yesterday, thanks again Bill for cracking this open, poured into a Bruery tulip glass, color is a muddy dark brown with a lot of red tint, absolutely no head, swirling the glass causing some wine-like legs but no real bubbles, aroma consists of huge toffee scents, oak, brown sugar, raisins, dates, milk chocolate, faint whiskey, vanilla, corn, hint of spice, and butter, flavor starts off with warming whiskey and sweet malts, oak and vanilla in the middle, finish has a good amount of dark fruits including raisins and red grapes, warms up with more oak and the residual brown sugars really come out, there is almost a nuttiness in the finish later on too, this stuff is not hot at all, especially considering each ounce is nearly half a shot of hard alcohol, sweet, okay, warming, slightly sugary, and thick mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, no carbonation, taste lingers for a long time, amazingly we finished this beer by ourselves after drinking a 750 ml of wild ale right before it, the drinkability is crazy, should receive a six out of five if possible, so smooth and the alcohol is hidden fantastically, not heavy at all, cannot wait to drink this again, highly recommended

Sep 13, 2009
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largadeer from California

4.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Flat pondwater brown appearance, not exactly attractive, but what do you expect for a still 17% beer? The legs are pretty impressive, though; this is some seriously syrupy beer. The nose is big on the rye whiskey, but balanced with aromas of maple syrup, dates, figs, leather and spicy tobacco. All of the Papiers have smelled amazing and this one is no exception; truly one of the most decadent beers I've ever tried. The sheer weight of the beer is immediately felt on the palate, coating it with intense yet surprisingly balanced flavors of brown sugar, maple syrup, tobacco and hot, boozy whiskey. The stillness is completely to the beer's benefit, as it only enhances the full, rich texture. The finish is spicy, woody, tannic and sweet, yet the drinkability is surprisingly high - I'd have no qualms with finishing a bottle myself. Nice job, Bruery.

Aug 16, 2009
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HopHead84 from California

4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the last of the Papier(s?). I consider myself lucky to have tried them all. They're truly remarkable beers. This was consumed at our "You Bring the Cheese" tasting held on 7/25/09-7/26/09.

Poured into my snifter, Rye Papier is nearly still, with a few small bubbles that disappear in the blink of an eye. The color is very dark brown, which is a bit lighter near the edges of the glass when held near light. An aggressive swirl brings the liquid to the top of the glass, yielding attractive legs as it slides back down.

I'm greeted with the aroma of spicy rye, which immediately distinguishes this from the other 100% barrel aged varieties. The alcohol is apparent but it's well masked. Other aromas are of wood, dates, and earthiness. Brown sugar is present, as well as rich toffee, maple, raisins, and a nice level of sweetness.

The flavor is of sweet dates, figs, and spicy rye. Rich toffee is evident, as well as some caramel and oak notes. The alcohol is powerful, but nowhere near the listed ABV, making this one dangerously drinkable. The sweetness is brown sugaresque, and it's incorporated into the finish, along with some warming alcohol heat and lingering spicy rye.

The carbonation is very low, almost to the point of nonexistence, but I find it complimentary to the beer and I find it enjoyable. This was my second favorite of the 100% barrel Papier(s?). Excellent beer!

Aug 03, 2009
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DefenCorps from Oregon

4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you, Shane. This beer is incredible

A: Like the brandy, this is a very still pour, dark chestnut brown with no head or retention. Pretty gorgeous.

S: Big sweetness to open up with a whiskey along with an unmistakably spicy rye character. Alcohol is a little more noticeable on the nose, but this is fantastic, better than the brandy in the way that the complex sweetness melds with the booze character.

T: Opens up with a lot of whiskey, rye character and a lot of sweetness - brown sugar, honey - as well as a lot of dark fruit character - plums, raisins, dates. Similar to the brandy, but mellower and better integrated on the palate to enhance the drinking experience. Mildly nutty with toasted oak. Long sweet finish

M: Big, flat and sweet on the finish that's long and complex. Great booze character, long finish

D: Just incredibly drinkable, better than the Brandy version.

Jul 29, 2009
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seaoflament from California

4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shane for opening up this bottle at the 'You Bring the Cheese Tasting' which took place on July 25-26th 2009.

I had the chance to sample this one, all three in fact, at the Bruery's Anniversary party and this was my favorite of the three different barrel aged Papiers.

Pours very similar to the other 2 barrel-aged Papiers, a dark cola hue with a few bubbles but quite still.

Spicy barrel aromas and whiskey instantly hit the nose, drunken raisins, dates, oak, buttery, vanilla, caramel, a bit of grapes, and hints of chocolate. Big barrel and whiskey aromas but I feel this one is the least 'hot' of the three with the best marriage of beer and barrel.

Just like the aroma, the taste starts with a spicy note, barrel/wood flavors, oak, vanilla, raisins, dates, chocolate, and fruity alcohol in the finish. As the beer opens up and warms up a few degrees I can taste some toasted oak, almonds, oak, and brown sugar. Syrupy and thick on the palate with some residual sugar in the finish and on the lips. This is one of those beers you pour a few ounces of in a snifter and sip on it all night long. For the amount of alcohol this beer has it is very drinkable.

Jul 28, 2009
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Overlord from California

4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Limited release of 200 bottles, 50 held back, so 150 total released into wild. Lucky enough to snag 3 of them, so I figured what the hell, I'll treat myself to a nice -bal aged brew. I made sure to put my favorite coaster down on the table, and after securing my residence against the stray Bullfrog, I sat down to enjoy.

**one note: I am well aware of the "local brewery" effect. Check out my ratings, including Bruery scores. I call 'em as I see 'em. Damn, am I getting defensive already?

Top opened with no pop. Pours a murky reddish brown. Quite cloudy. Aggressive pour yielded a few bubbles, but really ... not much in the way of a head. Just some scattered frothing. I do love me some carbonation.

Smell did not aggressively thrust its -bal agedness into my face. It is a nice, mellow rye whiskey aroma, but integrated really well with a nice oak-y/woods-y smell, some brown sugar, and a hint of dark fruits and vanilla. The fruit-y character of Papier has definitely been subsumed here, but it still adds a nice complexity. Outstanding. I'd give it a 5.5.

Taste is not quite up to the expectations created by the smell. Good and balanced: the rye is blended well with the dark fruit/malt background, and a wholesome dollop of vanilla, brown sugar, and a belgian candi-like sweetness. It tastes good (I'd probably give it a 4.375, but I guess I'll round up ... I'll "fix" my score by slightly dinging the over-weighted appearance statistic), but it's a bit boozy.

The booze is hidden better than you might expect for a fresh-off-the-line 17% strong ale, but it will still come up and wallop you harder than the responses to your "ISO Gargamel" thread did. It became wearying, even for tastebuds/biceps like mine.

Oddly enough, though, it might actually be LESS boozy than the non-Rye version. Maybe stronger flavoring covering it up? The Rye admittedly consumes rather than compliments some of the aspects of the base beer (similar to what happens to Alesmith -bal aged Old Numbskull and Wee Heavy brews, but not quite as overpoweringly obliterating).

Drinkability is good for what the beer is (I tend to classify drinkability according to style). The beer is too flat, but ... it is so smooth I'll give it a pass. I'd give the brew some time.

Jun 24, 2009
Papier - Rye Whiskey-Barrel from The Bruery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 48 ratings