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Cuir | The Bruery

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195 Reviews
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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Halcyondays on 05-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 195 | Ratings: 588
Photo of russwbeck
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light brown pour without much head.

S: Bourbon, malts, raisins, sugar, and dark fruits.

T: Leather, tobacco, dark malts, bourbon. Really interesting taste. I HATED Papier, this is better. A little more balanced. Still not anything great though.

MF: Medium heavy body. Nice amount of carbonation. Lots of booze.

O: Good beer. 14.5% is not noticed on that level, but it is noticed. Wouldn't pay the money again for this beer.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from STEG a while back. Cheers for the beers man!

From a 750ml into a snifter
Bottle 10,122
Drank the 25% and 100% back to back

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, cream-white head with good retention. A thick, dark red body, transparent, with high levels of carbonation. Head fades to a splotchy wisp and ring that remain to the end of the ride. No lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of caramel, toffee, red fruits and spices on the nose. Very bold with a hint of booze. Lots of caramel and cotton candy.

TASTE: Toffee sweetness and lots of spices up front. Red fruits and caramel through the middle into a fruity, sweet molasses finish. Bold but drier aftertaste of sweet toffee, molasses, a touch of bitterness and some spicy alcohol. A hint of bourbon and vanilla linger as well. Not as boozy as the ABV might suggest, but it's there. Still, very complex, but quite sweet.

PALATE: Lighter body and higher levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes rather dry on the palate. A slight bite at the swallow and a touch of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Very flavorful and complex and the alcohol is quite well hidden, but it is perhaps a little too sweet for mass consumption. A thicker palate would have showcased the flavors a little better as well. Regardless, this is a good beer and worth checking out if you're given the chance. Glad I was given a shot at this. Cheers STEG!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to kwilliams81 for sharing this beer! Thanks kent!

poured into a tulip glass.

bottle number- 07959

reviewed from notes taken on 7/29/12.

Appearance: reddish light brown bodied beer with a small off white head.

Smell: Dark fruits; prodominately raisins. Caramel notes.

Taste: Bready and raisins. Caramel, prunes, leather, and molasses. Its also fairly ozidixed and astrigent in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Still fairly hot.

Overall: So we did an Olde Ale Tasting featuring Cuir, BA Cuir, Coton, and Fruet. This beer finished dead last. Its not aging very well and its just rough around the egdes.

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Photo of John_M
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing sweet grape, some smokey oak and considerable vanilla. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, except for me, the over the top sweetness is more than I can handle. This level of sweetness, coupled with the obviously high alcohol, make drinking this beer in anything other than very small portions impossible. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long, very sweet and rich finish. There's some noticeable bourbon in this beer as well, but given the sweetness in this beer, it was hard for me to really notice or appreciate. The alcohol is actually pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, and there's no heat or alcoholic bite in the finish.

I don't know... this is an interesting beer, with some attractive flavor, but the sweetness and high alcohol are just too much for me. Really wish I had tried this beer before spluring on a bottle that is currently sitting in my fridge, where it will undoubtedly remain for some time.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very murky, Hellish red colour. Head is a thing of singular beauty, with the red beer giving it a vibrant orange-cream glow, small bubbles packed tight into a gorgeous foam, retaining a couple of fingers with sparse bubbling on top. Bit esoteric, but it's among the most instantly seductive beers I've seen.

Smells very American. Full of things the Yanks love. Caramel malt, with spices, rye and booze. Plenty of citric hop, pepper, chestnut and candied orange peel. Hint of sherbet and tobacco on the back. Bit intense, like a chocolate orange liqueur, but very intriguing. Beguiling is probably a bit too generous, but there's a certain mystifying charm no doubt.

Taste is not quite the taste I was looking for. Big orange citrus flavour upfront with a big astringent note that mixes with tobacco notes midway and steers away to an unpleasantly bitter finish. A bit tart and very spicy. Grains of paradise and capsicaian on there, but it's really just a big boozey Grand Marnier-esque flavour. Bit too rich and earthy, could use some cutting from some more hops - NZ hops, even.

Big foamy texture, and really rather boozey and hot. Quite a bold, sweet, almost sticky presence, then a very dry and boozey strength at the death.

Interesting drop, but at times just overwhelmingly boozey and liqueury. Very intriguing, but I'd just as happily pass.

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Photo of Cavery
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Shared with SundaySour @ Provisions

Taster #2 into tasters

A: Woody grenadine with mahogany in its genes. Really implies old rustic woods and unpolished coppers. Manzanita reds complete a rather complex appearance. A small bit of froth creates a thin layer of separation between the liquid and open air.

S: Dark dried fruits that really show some age. Smells sweet without being too overbearing. Alcohol complicates the matter in taking this to a funky barrel aged dimension. The smell almost seems to fight itself, the young battles the old with a consequentially dusty dialectic.

T: Old Dried fruits really come through. A tart sun dried element to the overall sniffing profile reigns supreme. Deliciously forward tart plums, cherries, and raisins. A slightly syrupy aspect to the alcohol. This is like a cocktail made of grenadine and maple syrup. Sweet and alcohol dominant.

M: Mouth is medium/light bodied. I'd say that it comes off to light for the flavor and alcohol. It's not flat, but the tart flavor and syrupy viscosity needs some help from the mouth.

O: The flavors are quite good, but it's not anything worth screaming about. The mouth really needs to tame this tart syrupy beast. A good beer that may benefit from the 100% barrel aging version, but I'm not sure it will help the drinkability of this diabetic coma.

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Photo of darktronica
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
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 ColForbinBC
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL champagne style bomber, bottle #04575; poured into a Sniffer

The body sits a muddy brown with maroon/purple highlights. A thin, less than a finger off-white cap. No discernable lacing.

The nose is rich and sweet. Brown sugar, plums, raisins/figs, loads of toffee and a hearty amount of booze. As this warms, I get additional notes of grapes, leather, and vanilla. Extremely complex and deep, but really sweet and boozey.

On the palate, this pretty much follows the nose. Brown sugar, vanilla and raisins/figs dominate with plums, grapes, toffee and leather rounding everything out. Big and boozey and cloyingly sweet.

Full body, oily, with minimal carbonation. Finish is overly sweet.

Overall, this is a complex old ale; lots going on. It's just entirely too sweet. If the sweetness was tuned back a notch, this beer would be leaps and bounds better.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Bruery

A: The pour is sort of a murky copper color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Sweet malts with plenty of caramel, toffee, molasses, and brown sugar. There's a surprisingly dominant oakiness to it and a strange spice note--perhaps all-spice? Hints of booze and dark fruits are also there.

T: Spices which sort of throw me off, but they're quickly covered by vanilla, oak, and booze. Sweet bread, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar make up the bulk of the flavor and there are some mild dark fruit notes.

M: Medium to full in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Out of the box, this is the easiest to drink of all the Anniversary ales from the Bruery. Looking forward to the 100% -bal version.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(On draught at Papago!). Pours dark caramel with khaki head. Aroma has some smoke, dark, ripe fruit, A-1 steak sauce? Taste is sweet, with a bit of sour twang. Alcohol is well integrated given the abv. Full-bodied with sticky, oily mouthfeel. Smooth finish. Good beer and quite unique.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Smallbar Division

A - Chocolate brown beer that turns a deep red on the edges. Great looking beige head that didn't leave much in the way of stick on the sides.

S - Caramel, sweet brown sugar. I get some dark fruit and a ton of pears with apples on this one. It smells particularly rich, but not boozy at all considering how high the ABV is.

T - Exceptionally rich. A lot of vanilla, dark fruit, apple core. I don't really get much bourbon on this, and the base seems to be brown sugar and dark fruits.

M - Smooth, mildly carbonated, very full feeling.

O - Solid beer, I really had to try to get through the glass, but at 14.5% this could be a killer if it were easier. It's a very rich beer that you can only take in small doses, but seems to be one of the better ones of this series so far.

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Photo of brystmar
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown, much more head than expected for an old ale. Mild lace.

S: figs, booze, banana, dark fruit, hints of caramel, more alcohol.

T: lots of fruit. Bourbon / port. Hints of wine grape-ness. Toffee. Plenty of alcoholic warmth as it descends. Complex, but a beer this hot begs for a couple years of cellar time.

M: thin and weak-bodied like some old ales; definitely needs more body.

D: slightly above average for drinkability given its near 15% ABV. This one's a sipper for sure. Again, a brew like this really needs 3-4 (or more) years on it to mellow out. Right now, this beer in my glass is full of potential.

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Photo of Etan
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml, #12857, into a snifter.

A: Pours an amberish brown with a nice off-white head.

S: Lots of raisin and prune in the nose, some oxidation, mild oaky bourbon.

T: Heavy grape flavor, almost quad-like, with a backbone of cooked caramel, light oak, dark booze, a bit buttery, and some light bourbon and bitterness in the finish.

M: Thick with light yet creamy carbonation.

O: The prune/grapey aspect of this beer makes it a bit too sweet, but I still enjoyed it.

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Photo of realmpel
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe it's the solera method being used, but these anniversary brews from the Bruery, which were complex to begin with, are beginning to sport some new layers of flavor that I must say I dig. Cuir has a bit of a chocolate flavor to it that I do not recall tasting in the previous two iterations. Of course, there are lots of similarities, and you get the same thick bourbon-y sweetness as in Papier and Coton. I'm a big fan. This beer is very strong and heavy so I could not have more than one small glass. Still, one to check out.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice dark red, appropriate carbonation. Actually could have been fewer bubbles given the style and ABV, but I'd rather have a bit too much than not enough.

Smells are on the complex side of things. Plums, leather, and brown sugar are the main players. No solvents, no alcohol.

Tastes are not as good as the smells. More warmth, dark fruits the main thing. Some leather/tobacco. Not very sweet, seems well attenuated for such a big Old Ale.
Would have liked more barrel. (25% not enough). 14.5% alcohol...I certainly didn't taste it.

Mouthfeel was great. This isn't a thick beer, nor a thin one. Carbonation lifts things. More dry than I expected.

This is good. But it's not $20 a 750ml good. Is it just an appetizer for the 100% barrel aged version?

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Photo of cetherid
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip


Beer is a dark brown color, with ruby highlights when held up to the light. A couple fingers worth of frothy off-white head going down to just a small film of head after a minute or so. Decent lacing going on as well.


Dominant booze aroma with dark fruits such as raisins/figs with a little brown sugar. Barrel aging is evident as there is a nice little oak aroma in there. A few more sniffs bring out aromas of leather as well. Complex smelling brew, however a little hot. Cellaring this one would probably be ideal...lets have a look at the taste.


Up front is booze soaked dark fruits...not as sweet as the nose had me to believe but definitely a noticeable sweetness..however the towards the end I get a weird tartness to it...almost like there are some cherries in there. More tart than sour....checking out some posts regarding this beer, a few others noticed the tartness and led them to believe it was infected. I actually enjoy the tartness to this. Just as the nose however, the booziness is a little too warming. It's not really like a bourbon booze taste but more straight up everclear/vodka.


A little on the thin side however good carbonation for the style. I would like a little more thickness to it...maybe a little more stickiness/syrupiness...like I'm drinking a barrel aged 4D. It actually drinks pretty dangerously as the booziness is more up front than in the finish. It goes down pretty easily....surprising for a 14.5% brew.


Overall its a decent beer but drinking a little hot right now. I would like the booziness to die down a bit and have more of the sweet malt/fruit come out. The tart cherry taste was not expected but kind of enjoyable. If it's infected, it didn't really hurt it. If I get another bottle it will be to age for at least 1 year.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3 finger offwhite head with some lacing on a clear amber with brown and red hues body. Aroma is very unique; woody, almost like A1-sauce like with smokey and almost soapy aroma. Flavor is very sweet with a subtle hickory/mesquite flavor. Boozy as would be expected for anything barrel aged. Body is medium but syrupy with light to moderate carbonation. This overall is a heavy beer. The sweetness is a little much. Fruitier then I expected for a barrel aged beer of any kind.

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Photo of swthomas55
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample on tap at the tasting room.

A: oak, toffee, raisins and prunes, vanilla, some alcohol. A harbinger of things to come.
A: brown-orange, hazy, tan head that drops but lingers.
F: huge dried fruit, raisins, cherries, prunes. Oak and vanilla. Malt sweetness barely balanced by hop bitter. Finish is long and fruity / oaky. It just goes on and on,
M: full but not cloying or syrupy. A touch of carbonation keeps it lively. Definitely warming but not hot.
O: a big, flavorful, warming "sipping" beer.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Cutting through the wax with a corkscrew sort of made me feel like one of the (non-murderous) apes from the opening scene of Space Odyssey. After that arduous ordeal, I was rewarded with this beaut. Seriously, other than de Struise, is there another brewer that makes beers this big look this good? The pour is actually much lighter than I expected: it's a soft auburn, with ruby highlights, not quite opaque in the light. A two-finger very light tan head forms remains for a solid three minutes. Pretty minor lacing with no real legs to make up for it is the only reason this doesn’t get a 5.

Tons of rich malt in the aroma. A classic old ale sweetness, this is rich with toffee and figs. Honestly, I could be fooled into thinking that this was -bal aged, as there are some pretty serious alcohol phenols coming out of this combined with a sort of leathery, woody character. That said, for the actual amount of alcohol in this beer, the aroma of alcohol is remarkably restrained.

Like the aroma, the taste is a carnival of malt. Loads of butterscotch. There's a certain old, weathered element to this beer, rich with wood, tobacco, and leather. The alcohol is really, really muted, much more so than in the aroma. In many ways, this actual reminds me of scotch. There is, however, a very evident, medicinal, cough syrup taste in the finish. As the beer warms, this quality only become stronger, and it really detracts from this otherwise delicious beer.

The carbonation is lively, but not detrimentally so. It does seem to detract from the viscosity of the beer, though this is still very thick and lush.

Given the relative youth of this beer and how enormous it is, it is drinking very well right now. Were it not for that off-putting cough syrup flavor, this would approach perfection for me.

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Photo of oline73
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark reddish brown color with a finger of tan head that leaves a ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet with some spices and smoke coming through. Reminds me a little of a bbq sauce. I'm also picking up some dark fruit.

Taste: Very sweet. Hints of smoke, brown sugar, dark fruit, and some spice. The finish has quite a lot of alcohol in it.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with smooth carbonation. The finish is slick.

Overall: This beer would benefit from some aging in my opinion. I enjoyed it, but I don't know that I could drink more than a few ounces right now. Still a good beer.

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Photo of schwaeh
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared by Mbpbugeye.

A: Pours a dark tobacco brown. Nice light beige half inch head that fades into some nice lace.

S: Smells somewhat hot with tobacco, rum soaked fruit, sugar, and molasses. Smells like bourbon syrup. I get mesquite BBQ sauce once it warms all the way up.

T: The taste starts as leather, molasses, tobacco, and raisins. The alcohol is very noticable but not off-putting. The bourbon notes are very minimal in this blended version but add to the complexity.

M: Small amount of carbonation. Thick and viscous mouthfeel. Somewhat hot, but not overly so at 14.5%.

O: This is a slow complex sipper with plenty to offer. I'm very happy that I got to try this behemoth of a beer. Consume near room temperature to get the most out of this one.

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Photo of claaark13
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Founders snifter at cellar temp. The bottle is just cool enough for the outside to fog when touched.

A - Dark reddish brown with a thick white head.

S - Sweet licorice. Some spices and the slightest amount of oak. It smells good, but nothing exciting. Too much sweetness.

T - Sweetness throughout. Not an immense amount as I see in some reviews, but it is sweet from start to finish. Burnt caramel/toffee and dark fruit. I think the licorice in the aroma I was getting is actually raisin. Dry, oak finish. Somehow it is noticeably dry and noticeably sweet at the same time. I actually like how the dryness plays against the sweetness. Not much, if any, booze evident.

M - Somewhat thick. I actually find it to be in line for the style. Not sure if it could get better. I think it will feel thicker in time if carbonation dies.

O - It is good, but I can't say that I'd order more than on serving at a bar....assuming the serving were 8oz or less. I do believe the aging potential here is great. I guess I'll snag more for the cellar.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at ChurchKey in DC. Cuir is a tasty old ale that takes on many of the characteristics of the whiskey who's barrel it was aged in. The alcohol was a little overpowering.

A: Brown and translucent. Decent head that fades to reasonable lacing. 4

S: Alcohol with a hint of raisins. 3.5

T: Alcohol and buttery, almost whiskey, liquor flavour. The alcohol is overpowering. 4

M: Thick. 4.5

O: 4

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011. 750mL brown glass pry-top bottle. Black wax dipped.

Pours a dark brown color with moderate off-white/light tan head that grips the glass with all its might. Nose is of a huge barley wine, wet barley grain, sticky caramel and toffee, some moist tobacco too. I also get some red berries and maybe a little plum too.

Palate is big and chewy, and huge with alcohols both high and low. Lots of fruitiness like red licorice and chewy dark tobacco and fig flavors too. Slick with booze. Long leathery finish.

Notes: This is a big boozy monster of an old ale. Lots of higher alcohols which isn't surprising given the ABV. Not my favorite old ale - think the North Coast and Alesmith Decadence are better.

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Photo of stakem
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
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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Cuir from The Bruery
4.12 out of 5 based on 588 ratings.
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