3 French Hens | The Bruery

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3 French Hens3 French Hens
Very Good
402 Ratings
3 French Hens3 French Hens

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Three French Hens is the third in the 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series. We again drew some inspiration from the name and decided that at least a portion of this beer had to be aged in French oak barrels. What we came out with is a bold and spicy Belgian Dark Strong Ale, 25% aged in oak. This beer is designed to take the journey through time until 12 Drummers Drumming, but is a delightful holiday treat right off the shelf.

Added by claspada on 10-08-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 402 |  Reviews: 229
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger white head with little retention and some lacing on a clear deep amber body.

S: lots of dark fruit mostly with cherry, strawberry and plum the primary notes. hint of chocolate. overall the aroma is a little mild.

T: pretty tart dark fruit with mostly raisin, plum and cherry for dark fruits. peppercorn, milk chocolate, belgian yeast, brown sugar.

M: medium body, a little syrupy and moderate carbonation. pretty dry.

Overall: again, very complex, the ABV is well hidden. smooth with excellent belgian character with good tart and sweet balance.

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Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch khaki head that settles to a thin film. Random streaks of lace stick around the glass on the drink down. There is also some sediment floating around in this beer. Smell is of dark fruits, some wood aromas, and spicy yeast. Taste is of dark fruits, slight wood, and a slight sour fruit/vinegary taste. There is an astringency on the palate after each sip. This beer has a bubbly carbonation with a crisp but slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good BSDA from The Bruery. I was going to save this and do a broken vertical since I missed the first 2 releases but I am glad I just opened this now.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GRG1313
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear deep, dark copper red with burgundy tints; thick, firm and bold off white head.

Nose is big sweet plums, ripe pears and sweet cooked peaches with light spice - big, full, rich and assertive with big candi sugar tones.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with an elegant carbonation.

Flavors are very complex and layered. Front palate is sweet spiced cola and compote cooked fruit that goes to a dull bitter mid palate and finish.

The front end of this beer is wonderful but the flavors then back off and the wood and barrel aging come into play and goes to a bitter, almost bitter/sour carmel finish.

The mid palate on this beer is a strange spice/herbal character, almost a sour chocolate character, that prevents this brew from really shining. The high alcohol is well hidden!

Personally, I don't see this beer doing very well 9 years from now when we all do our "12 year vertical" for the "12 Days of Christmas." However, time will tell.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

French Hen's pours out as a murky looking brownish red color. The head was a light tan shade, the lacing was decent for a little while on this one before the head faded. The smell of the beer had a lot of oak aromas coming off of it. There was a lingering scent of spices also. The taste was spicy upfront that switched into a subtle tart oak flavor that essentially became a fresh wooden softness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad, I was hoping it would have been thicker. Overall I'm glad I had gotten to try this one. I would like to try the others in the series. Looking forward to next years for sure.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emerge077
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a wine goblet at South Loop Tasting Room.

Dark reddish brown, high clarity, visible trails of upward bound carbonation. Creamy, frothy tan foam that leaves spotty lacing inside the glass. Good retention, the head never dissipated.

Muted spice and dark fruit in the nose, dried cherry, plum, raisin.

Flavor is malt dominant with some lingering sweetness, even a slightly tart fruit note. Light cherry and dates, belgian yeast, vague vanilla that suggests barrel-aging, but it gets a bit lost in there. Moderately carbed, certainly doesn't feel like 10%, and slightly slick in feel. One and done, not one i'd revisit, or would seek out a bottle of.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip, bottled Dec 2010. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense dark khaki head with great retention that reduces to a cap. Some ok lacing on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, grape, apple, molasses, caramel, oak, light cinnamon, and yeast spiciness. Nice and well balanced aromas. Taste of big molasses, caramel, raisin, prune, fig, oak, toasted malt, dark candi sugar, nuttiness, light cinnamon, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of molasses, caramel, dark fruits, and spiciness on the finish for a bit. A good amount of complexity and robustness in the taste. Great balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden at 10%, with only a warming after the finish present. Overall this is an excellent and well balanced Belgian dark ale. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a tawny brown color with a finger of a head that drizzles lace on the way down

Smell: Brown sugar and dark fruit, with vanilla and oak barrel tones

Taste: Brown sugar and dark fruit (fig and date) up front, with undertones of vanilla and oak; by mid-palate, a tart cherry layer appears bringing vinegary elements that linger, after the swallow, though the sweetness doesn't fade; overfall, rather vinous

Mouthfeel: Full body with low carbonation; somewhat syrupy

Drinkability: An interesting beer, but the growing tartness really detracts from the BSDA character; the vinous element is interesting, but perhaps there is just too much going on to make it very drinkable

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some nice lacing. Aroma of light oak with caramelized sugar and light fruity notes. Taste is a very good mix between some brown sugar and caramelized malt with notes of fruity ester and some oak to round up the flavour. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed and better then I had anticipated considering some of the previous offering from this brewer. Good balance between complexity and drinkability.

 532 characters

Photo of mothman
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter layer of beige head. Leaves light head. Color is a copper brown with an amber hue.

Aroma: Caramel, toffee, plums, dark fruits, cherries, vanilla, and oak. Pretty malty.

Taste: oaky with vanilla. Dark dried fruits hit up front. Raisins and toffee. Very malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and malty. Medium to full bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a decent beer for the style but I am looking more forward to the barrel aged version. It is pretty decent, but just seems to be missing something.

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Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Bruery Provisions.

Caramel colored, this would look like a glass of tawny port if not for the small beige head.

The aroma is a mix of vinous notes, plums, general yeasty-estery fruitiness and dark candi sugar sweetness.

The palate likewise is quite vinous, bringing to mind red grapes and plums, a little cherry and black pepper. The wine barrel comes through well, despite only being a small component of the beer. The body is medium-full, and it's semi-sweet, more drying toward the finish. Quite good for the style, but as with the other two Bruery Christmas beers, it's not particularly noteworthy. I have a feeling that this series is going to end up much like Stone's Vertical Epic series - decent beers with a ton of unjustified hype.

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Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of dense, khaki colored foam on top of a dark brown body with a touch of muddy amber showing through. The foam fades gently and leads nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - dark bread, caramel, a little bit of clove, and some gingerbread.

T - Dry, dark sugar (maybe!?) up front with some clove and anise. Slightly tart dark malt in the middle with a touch of cherry and a finish of sour chocolate, clove, and licorice.

M - moderately thick body, aveage carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - This beer is much dryer than I would have expected it to be. This is both good and bad in that it is somewhat more easily drinkable for it, but less flavorful and robust. The lit tartness is a nice counterpoint to the malt but it doesn't play that well with the spice notes. Lastly, the barrel character is largely lost amoung everything else th just a touch of oak and the tart character to vouch for it. Probably my least favorite of the beers of Christmas so far (having had #2-#5).

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Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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3 French Hens from The Bruery
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 402 ratings