Cuir
The Bruery

CuirCuir
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Style:
English Old Ale
ABV:
14.5%
Score:
93
Avg:
4.19 | pDev: 11.46%
Reviews:
202
Ratings:
600
From:
The Bruery
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  77
Gots
  420
SCORE
93
Outstanding
CuirCuir
Notes: Cuir is our third anniversary ale. It is the same recipe as Papier, but again created using the Solera method. Each year we will continue to blend old barrels of anniversary ale with a new batch of the same beer, adding an additional layer of complexity that will grow over time as we continue to age and blend with each anniversary, creating an older average age to the ale.
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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 600
Photo of Beersnake1
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from fridge temp in January of 2019. Pours dark brown with substantial head. Nose is heavy oxidation, dark fruits, and a bit of toffee. Not overly appealing. Taste is better than the nose. Nice notes of toffee, Belgian yeast, bread, nuts, dark fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, and oak. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Overall, this has held up well despite a not-so-nice nose.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown which is nearly black topped by a finger and a half of dense light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells of toffee, raisins, caramel, light fruitiness, and a hint of licorice
T: Taste is toffee and caramel with raisins and some licorice. Other spice notes come in at times as well. Nice fruitiness from the Bruery house yeast as well along with a slight vanilla. Swallow is more caramel and vanilla with a hint of oak along with some lingering dark fruits, raisins and spice.
M: This beer is big and slightly chewy in the mouth with soft carbonation that is adequate for the style. The beer has a drying finish which is to be expected for the style.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer with some great flavors and some very nice complexity. This one isn't showing the slightest hint of oxidation either which is very nice. These are definitely drinking very well and I still have one left. Lucky me.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Originally purchased for my 1,300th review on BA. It was not to be. This was pulled from "the cellar" of my local specialty beer shop. The third anniversary ale, brewed in 2011. Bottle # 05739 Black wax seal. Let's see how well it's aged in 6 years in the cellar.

A Very cloud and opaque brownish color with some red hues. Mocha foam cap is pretty thick and short but smooth and dense. recedes pretty fast. Only a thing ring is left.

The aroma has some oxidation hints..mainly wet cardboard. Then it's, smokey oak, old leather with spicy tones, herbal and earthy. The aroma is actually very complex. Mild chocolate and spices , toffee with wet earhy notes and heady, woody malt. Blackberries pop out later on.

75% new ale blended with 25% very old ale from Bourbon Barrels. The flavor is amped up in complexity! The malt layers is unreal. First, very sweet tones of maple syrup with tons of Bourbon Barrel boozy notes, smokey oak and vanilla, sugared dates, ovetly ripe dark fruits, boozy heat tingle, some sour tones from the hops and or yeast combo. Very "Sweet N Sour" overall, multiple flavor aspects derived just from the Bourbon Barrels, especially the oak and maple syrup. Earthy, herbal balance rides on in the finish with a slightly bitter, earthy ending. The malt flavor's just mutate and change in your mouth and as you swallow. Amazing depth of charecter.

The mouthfeel.....is actually very "alive" for an Old Ale and especially for a 6 year old! A decent bite, hot booze tingle but very full and heavy. Oily slick
Long and smooth and kinda dry in the finish.

Take your time with this one. The 14.5 % abv is no joke. A true sipper. The sweet and sour effect is very intense. You will find the overall complexity in all catagories to be a real challenge to experience. Only very mature audiences can attend this tasting!

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle.

A: Lots of toffee/caramel aroma with a light barrel presence.

A: Dark brown color, opaque, with a thin tan head that dissipates into the glass.

T: Very rich malts with toffee/caramel notes, light dried fruits with a moderate barrel character with a sweet finish.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation. The alcoholic strength is noticeable, but quite smooth.

O: Awesome; the beer doesn’t exhibit oxidative notes, but the extended aging has also tempered the intense alcoholic warmth to really bring out the rich malt complexity.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Popped open a 750-mL bottle I've been holding onto for god knows when. Poured into my Bruery snifter. Looks a muddy Amber color with some brownish off white head that quickly vanishes to some soapy bubbles. Bottle presentation was very nice with wax over standard bottle cap.

Smells of cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar and molasses. There's a hint of some bourbon in there with light oak. Smells a little boozy but I'm guessing it has certainly mellowed over the years.

Very sweet upfront with almost a syrupy or candied texture. Lots of brown sugar, sweet cherries, and molasses. A hint of bourbon & oak. Surprisingly smooth for 14.5% abv. Very full bodied & mellow although the booze does warm the throats after the 3rd or 4th sip. Sort of reminds me of cough medicine.

Was worried about drinking this bottle all to myself but the smoothness really makes it quite approachable. I wish it had less cough syrup flavor, maybe more bourbon or more hops to add a tad more bitterness? This beer seems to have aged well. I only wonder how it was fresh.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2011 vintage; drank 4/1/16 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Opaque brown/orange appearance.

Nice khaki head; decent lace.

Caramel & brandy notes in the nose.

Thick, smooth mouthfeel.

Caramel & brandy flavors up front; dry raisin notes on the finish. Surprisingly light on booze heat. Simple, but a nice treat.

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Photo of darktronica
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on draft at the Bruery Tasting Room as part of Orange County Beer Week. Really enjoyed this in the bottle over the years, but it seems to be past its prime; the pour I had exhibited all of the usual trademark flavors of The Bruery's anniversary ales, but it was heavily oxidized.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Brown color, not as pretty looking as a lot of Bruiry beers. Small 1/8" head. Tan. Aroma is awesome, chocolate, vanilla, oak, coconut, brown malt, warming alcohol. Well done. Anniversary beers are legit.

Taste was the first in the series to get good at hiding the alcohol unlike the previous two iterations. Toffee and caramel is this series hallmark, liquid cracker jacks with booze. Sweetness is perfect for helping the mouthfeel flow. Syrup and leather.

Complex and well integrated. Good beer, time to pop one of the 100% -bal ones soon.

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Photo of stakem
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml waxed bottle poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears a very dark brown color with solid 2 fingers light khaki head that fades leaving spotty lace.

Aroma of raisons sweet caramel, molasses, dry toasty malt, booze and some papery oxidative qualities.

Tastes raisony, toasty malt, cocoa, molasses and slight herbal character. Some oxidative notes pushing through adding great complexity and focus on the dryer side of the maltiness present.

This is full bodied and modestly carbonated. Great balance of booze, malt, herbal and oxidative qualities. This bottle is 5 years old at the time im opening it but it actually tastes older than that and im really digging it. (I assume this is the product of the solera method of blending/aging.)

Revisit 12 hours after opening for another 8oz pour:
Less carbonation which actually feels more fitting of this big beer giving it a richer, creamier feel. Papery oxidation initially that gives way to lots of fruit like raison/prunes and a seemingly completely masked alcohol inclusion. The aftertaste has a bit of fall foliage feel with herbal bitterness contrasting the caramelized sugars.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle. 4 years old.
Very fruity aroma featuring dried plums and other dark fruits. Bitter and sweet with a touch of tartness.
Warming but not hot.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Cuir 2011, consumed in August 2015. Surprisingly drinkable despite the crazy ABV.

Sweet ma non troppo, wonderful aroma of raisins, burnt sugar and Pedro Ximenez.

Not heavy; age is good for this beauty... although I wouldn't wait too long to drink a '11 vintage.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My lady and I have a tradition of drinking the anniversary series with our corresponding anniversary, and we happily drank this last night with our meal.

Dark and beautiful, smells of toffee, oak and brown sugar, this thing tasted like a thing of joy. Just a wonderful, sweet but boozy, and totally in a good way taste. The stickiness of the mouthfeel matches the way this thing looks and and warms the indsides.

After we were somewhat let down with Coton, Cuir was a standup release and was a wonderful way to mark three years strong together. Another fantastic release from The Bruery.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank in early 2015 at a little over 3 and a half years old.

Appearance: leathery mahogany color. a small half a finger yellowish tan head with fairly strong retention. super hazy with some sediment floating around. completely opaque.

Smell: sherry, caramel, toffee, rum soaked raisins, brown sugar and dark fruits. some slight cardboard has developed and has some alcohol presence.

Taste: opens with a strong sherry taste along with some booze. lots of sweetness comes through with notes of caramel, toffee, molasses and maple syrup. some alcohol. oxidation is certainly a factor in this beer but only a little cardboard flavor.

Mouthfeel: syrupy and heavy. strong stickiness.

Overall: this one has certainly aged well though I believe it may have peaked and be heading back the downslope. oxidation at this point is a mostly (~85%) good factor to the taste but it is showing hints of negative aspects.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

New review for an old bottle (Number 03258). Pours a dark crimson-edged brown under a quickly faded tan head which lingers at the rim and leaves a few spots. Aroma is rum, bourbon-soaked raisins, vanilla, brown sugar/molasses, toasted grains, and fusel alcohol. Flavor is similar to the nose with some mellow oxidation and dark cherry notes. Full body, and semi-moderate carbonation. Finishes sweet, syrupy, boozy, bourbon vanilla, oak. Aged well, this one.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep burgundy color with a thick toffee colored ring of lacing around the glass, mild carbonation.

S - Dark maple syrup, brown sugar, toffee, musty, oak, and some dark fruit and sweet molasses.

T - Some sweet dark tart fruit, oak, bourbon, vanilla, light smoky oak, and some cherry acidity. Initially I was getting some roasted toffee on the palate but that quickly faded away and was replaced with the acidic tart cherry notes.

M - Finish is very dry but because of the presence of some tart acidity the dry finish quickly turns to semi-dry, then disappears. Velvet consistency across the tongue, thick, viscous, and lip smacking sticky.

O - With the bottle being (3+) years old it's expected the flavors and aroma have been muted.
In it's current state, predominantly oak, tart fruit, and Bourbon. If anyone likes to cellar bottles and has one of these left, I wouldn't let it sit much longer.

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Photo of biegaman
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

"Cuir" is the French word for leather and, indeed, this Old Ale looks slightly worn but still tough; despite a very murky complexion a beautiful, glistening amber colour persists. Even its head is firm and durable - an incredibly impressive feat given its makeup (blended and barrel-aged), age (2 years), and strength (a whopping 14.5%).

The Bruery's anniversary ales (such as this one) are made using the Solera method, which is a process of retaining some liquid from every batch or vintage and blending it into the next one. Over the years, the average age of the product - and, by association, its complexity and uniqueness - is gradually increased.

For those keeping count, Cuir is the third release made in this fashion and, as result, certainly gives us lots to ponder over. The aroma alone is a dizzying (somewhat literally given the alcohol) array of candied fruits, cherries, dark toffee, nut brittle, and vinous esters of a very sherry-like nature.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the excitement stirred up by the bouquet but does introduce a slight tartness in the form of a prominent choke cherry flavour. The burnt sugar and dark fruit profile continues but truthfully isn't as tasty as it sounds. Still, if there were scores for uniqueness and intensity, this would certainly earn the highest marks in those categories.

There are some techniques in the brewing process (i.e., decoction mash) that can be quite demanding. Tossing your beer in a bourbon barrel, however, is incredibly easy relative to how much complexity it affords; the effort-to-pay out ratio is huge. It makes for a beer that's strong but sublime. This one shows off oaky, slightly oxidated nuances of vanilla and sherry.

Cuir is a beer of technical virtuosity and inspired brilliance. I not only think the 'solera anniversary' offerings is a neat project, I know from trying a few that it makes for notably interesting and special ales as well. These beers come with a hefty price tag but they're worth it (and also worthy of a spot in the cellar next to your prized Bordeaux or vintage Champagne).

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Received with very little head which obviously can't have much retention. The head is a light beige while the body is a mix of burgundy and chestnut brown that appears as a dark amber/maroon when held up to the light.

Nose- Very mild. Some light peach, mango perhaps, a hint of mustiness. Even leather. Swirling doesn't reveal much except a certain creaminess. Peach is almost apricot or pear. I'm sure this reveals nothing about the actual profile but it's interesting in its subtlety nonetheless.

Taste- The nose is somewhat of an indication of what this beer is going to be like- starts off with subtle fruit esters that pretty much pinpoint the fruit flavors I enjoy- peach, apricot, and pear. But pear seems to be at the forefront which is almost a godsend for me. Even the pear ciders and pear brandies I've had seem to pale in regard to the actual but this expresses the delightful sublimity of that fruit. What's more is that I wasn't expecting this flavor profile. Even more surprising is that this beer expresses absolutely no booze. Some light cherry, a continued bit of peach, but this seems pear dominated. Slight notes of woodiness but this doesn't match the given description at all and I don't care. This beer isn't all that complex but the delicacy is amazing. Such great balance and integration with a flavor note that I find irresistible. Some hints of spice on the finish. Pepper, cinnamon, coriander. The woodiness is almost pine, suggestions of cedar. It's just enough of a contrasting note to prevent this beer from devolving into pure decadence. Easily a great beer. Too bad that this is probably the only time I will ever drink it, but what can you do? As it opens, slight notions of the real heat start to appear but not as much as it should.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with very heavy notes of syrup. It drinks light juice and has some creaminess. Light carbonation. A tad bit of zing. Great overall structure.

Drinkability- It's a good thing this beer costs so much- it's that good. At points, it's not even recognizable as a beer. Slight tangy notes and tiny indications of heat separate it from a blend of pear/apricot/peach juice but not by much. 9 bucks is the highest price I've ever paid for so small a pour but I understand. Not only are these beers 30 bucks a 750mL but this beer also has some age on it. To simplify: it's worth it.

Overall- Great beer- I'm glad that I saved the best for last. I wasn't sure when I saw the rather slight rating of about 4.2 for a Bruery Anniversary beer but now I know it's partially because of the flavor profile. My favored tastes are not others but finally, a beer hits my really specific favorites. Plus it'll get you really drunk. How can you lose? A must try- as in, it's a must if you come across it. When will you get another chance?

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Photo of draheim
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL (bottle 02505) into a snifter. Pours a crystal-clear ruby mahogany w/ a surprisingly big khaki head that settles to a velvety film. Moderate carbonation.

Aroma is fruity and sweet. Brown sugar, black cherries, molasses, rum-soaked pipe tobacco, caramel, vanilla.

Taste follows nose. Rich and complex, sweet and syrupy; maybe just a touch too sweet. Lots of sugars evident. Brown sugar, molasses, candied yams, raisins, caramel, toffee, bing cherries, pipe tobacco, and just a touch of alcohol heat... the list goes on, almost infinitely.

Mouthfeel is, not surprisingly, sticky and chewy, coating. Lingering aftertaste. The opposite of crisp and refreshing. A true sipper of a beer, dessert in a glass. This one will last the rest of the evening.

Overall about what I expected. I prefer Fruet, but this one is clearly in the same family. If it wasn't *so* sweet I'd probably give it higher marks, but it's still an interesting beer to carefully contemplate.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

750ml brown glass (black glass?) bottle with black wax-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap and classy brown/tan label acquired at a SoCal bottle shop over a year ago and served into a Verdugo Bar stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. The wax took some time to remove given its thickness. Reviewed live. Expectations are low; I hated Fruet and haven't been big on the other beers in this series that I've tried. Reviewed as an old ale. Bottle #01082. 14.5% ABV confirmed per the label.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Yields a carbonation hiss upon opening.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Head retention is pretty good for the high ABV - about 5-6 minutes - pretty impressive. Uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head has a nice even consistency, but could definitely be softer.

Body colour is a dull nontransparent vaguely translucent dark brown with amber hues. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's sort of a mediocre appearance for an old ale. It don't look like much.

Sm: Toffee, caramel, heavy malty sweetness, and nice bourbon notes (vanilla, light oak, wood) are the first things I notice. I also pick up English malts, cream, milky notes, faint leather, tobacco, and burnt sugars. Some dark fruit does land - mainly plum, fig, and maybe raisin/grape.

Any hop character has definitely faded. I don't pick up any yeast character, in spite of its lack of filtration. It's certainly got some booziness, but I wouldn't call it hot. More a pleasant warmth - at least in the aroma.

It's an imposing, powerful aroma of mild strength. I'm a bit cautious going in given the alcohol and my experience with other beers in this series.

T: The bourbon notes are by far the highlight for me; I get some nice vanilla, reticent oak, and some intangible barrel notes that are enjoyable.

Sadly, the base beer isn't quite up to par. It's a loosely cohesive mess of caramel, toffee, cream, milky notes, biscuit malt, brown malts, English malts, bread crust, faint dark fruit (plum and fig), faint tobacco, and buried leather. A kiss of fruitcake. Sure, there's more going on here than in your typical brew, but it isn't well balanced, and there's certainly little subtlety. The tobacco and leather lend it some nuance. I wouldn't call it intricate. It isn't particularly well layered. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Any hop character is long gone. I also don't find any yeasty notes.

While I'm not sure I'd out and say I like it, I do think it's the most approachable of the anniversary series I've had so far. the sweetness isn't too out of control, but it is sugary as hell. I can almost feel my teeth rotting just drinking it.

Mf: Has some nice albeit sparse creaminess. Well-carbonated. It isn't as full-bodied as its anniversary brethren, nor is it quite as thick. Smooth and wet. Sticky, almost syrupy. It does have some boozy warmth which limits the drinkability.

Not at all stale, chewy, oily, gushed, harsh, or astringent.

Overall, the texture suits the taste pretty well, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.

Dr: Absolutely a sipper, but I'm actually not dreading killing this bottle like I thought I might. This is definitely the best Bruery anniversary beer I've tried so far, and renews my faith a bit in the series overall. That said, it's still far from world-class and I remain dumbfounded by its high ratings. Far from a stellar old ale; honestly, I prefer North Coast's Old Stock Ale. I'd never buy this again at its unreasonable price point and I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's a nice little old ale from The Bruery and will certainly get you drunk. I recommend splitting with friends.

A powerful old ale that will get you knackered but won't knock your socks off. The bourbon barrel notes offer infinitely more likable character than the base beer, begging the question - why use this base at all?

It does improve as it comes to temperature, and drinks as well as I can imagine from a tulip.

B-

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 2011 anniversary
The Bruery tulip

A: Murky reddish brown. Not a lot of head. Not a lot of lacing. Lower carbonation. Alcohol feet are there.

S: Dark fruits. Booze. Sweet malts. Toffee. Doesn't smell AS oxidized as the Papier but this has to do with the age. I love the nose on these.

T: Flavor is similar to Papier but a little less oxidized. Lots of dark fruit. Some brown sugar. Very sweet malty goodness. Vanilla and toffee. Touches of leather and some tobacco behind it all. Finish is long.

M: Full bodied. Chewy.

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Photo of HookemHoos
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter at a bottle share from a 750 ml bottle.

A: Pours a redish orange color with a minimal amount of carbonation.

S: The smell was very boozy with notes of vanilla and caramel.

T: Taste follows with the smell and was very boozy. The caramel and vanilla follow through.

O: Overall it's a very good beer. Same as with the other anniversary beers, it is best enjoyed among friends. Tackling this by yourself would be a massive challenge.

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Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip (only fitting). Bottled in Spring 2011, so well over 2yrs old.

A - Dark reddish brown. A little murky. Tan head that sticks around for a little while, minimal lacing.

S - Plum jam, raisins, fruitcake, a little herbal quality like Unterberg.

T - Dates, figs, fruitcake. Alcohol is still present after 2yrs of aging (but not off-putting). Can still taste the herbal hops and the backend dries out nicely, not to make it too sweet.

M - Full bodied and sticky. Low carbonation that fits the body of the beer.

O - I had this fresh and honestly cannot remember how it tasted, but I know I liked it. This is a solid old ale w/ a lot of flavor, the alcohol is still very present, but adds to the flavors in a good way (I bet this was "hot" as hell when fresh)

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Photo of mentor
2.93/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a one finger light brown soda-pop head that settles to a thin covering over a brilliant brown liquid. Looks like a brown ale, but with a large amount of fizz streaming to the surface. smelled of sweet dark fruited alcohol during the pour. Stored in my cellar since it was fresh on the shelves. To the nose, prune, chocolate, clean pine, alcohol sting, pineapple, spicy (nutmeg, ginger, allspice), mildly of toffee and vanilla. Complex. The spice is not what I was expecting and kind of pushes me away. Oxidized malt is beginning to fall apart. This one is not going in a good direction.

Tastes richly dark fruit sweet with bourbon and raw oak. Prune, caramel, pine, oranges, tannic leather, tarragon. Imagine you buy a spice rack from a resale shop and the spices in it are decades old and hold but a shadow of green. Stale grassy-spice. Dry from a waxy woodiness and astringency carried on the strong alcohol finish. I'm not enjoying this one. Thick and creamy in the mouth, but doesn't stick due to the strong carbonation, potent alcohol, and wood edge. This beer is disjointed and has no direction. I can't imagine this beer was any better when fresh and I don't see it improving with time. The bottle lies when it says this beer will "age gracefully for decades". The malt seems to have started falling apart faster than the alcohol has started enriching the oxidation process that produces sherry-like character. Overall, not good.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter; bottle number 5180, bottled in spring 2011. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a small dense light khaki colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, pear, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, oak, bourbon, tobacco, leather, vanilla, brown sugar, light roast, light clove, and toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big complexity and balance of malt and fruity notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, pear, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, tobacco, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, leather, light clove, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, oak, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, tobacco, leather, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of malt and dark fruit flavors; with moderate barrel presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden for 14.5%, with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible old ale! Huge complexity and depth of dark fruit and dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for 14.5%. An insanely delicious offering.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.21/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Sam for this one. 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .25 finger cream colored head with poor retention. Beer is a cloudy dark brown. Lacing is spotty and stringy with moderate stick. Big, thick legs. Solid.

Nose is brown sugar, caramel, prune and plum. Syrupy with a big booze presence. Real sweet too. Decent but there's something that just doesn't seem to work here that I can't put my finger on.

Opens prune, plum and logan. Sweet syrup, brown sugar, caramel and some toffee notes in the middle. Boozy on the back end with molasses and more syrup sweetness. Finishes bourbon, leather, some oak, caramel, and brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Weird sweet fruit aftertaste. Again, decent but there's a fruit presence that doesn't work.

Medium to full bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down boozy and thick. Finishes accented with a lingering, aggressive finish. Average. A bit too carbonated.

I don't know if age has anything to do with it but this beer just isn't doing well. There's a weird fruit presence that asserts itself in the nose, flavor, and feel that makes the overall experience awkward. Just not for me.

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Cuir from The Bruery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 600 ratings