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Cuir | The Bruery

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596 Ratings

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 596 |  Reviews: 201
Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of ChaseT
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Kelton
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JustinMatthew
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off.. Wow! This 3rd year anniversary beer which is a blend of the anniversary beers that have been barrel aging. Pours a dark carmel color with a thin off white head. Smells like licorice, caramel and strong alcohol. Tastes of oaky burnt brown sugar, licorice, figs, dates, and maple syrup, seems to be changing a lot the more if warms. so much going on in here. With the oak, alcohol, and dark fruits quickly fading after taste. Again these guys are making very unique delicious beers and this has been another pleasant surprise.

Bottle #5775

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
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 ssznyter
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing beer. Extremely happy to have had the opportunity to try this beer on tap. I enjoyed it so much I bought 2 bottles to age within the next week. This old ale was served to me in a red wine glass and had a creamy, malty texture. Sweet, caramel and coffee notes could be sensed in both the smell and initial taste. The mouthfeel was incredibly smooth and although it was definitely warm going down you would not expect this beer is 14.5% alcohol. To date this is one of the best beers I've tried. It was my first beer from the Bruery and I look forward to trying much more from this young brewery. Definitely try this one if you get the chance!

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Photo of amphion1065
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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 Rickythejeweler
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Muddy brown/orange/red, one finger off white head, light lacing.

S - Light fruits and bourbon.

T - Apples, bourbon, rasions, figs, pears cherries, vinous.

M - Thick, smooth, medium-low carbonation, booze sticks to the tongue.

O - Extremely happy about this purchase, worth the 23 bucks!

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany color. Poured a 1 finger tan head that dissipated to a bubbly skim. Decanted steadily. Laced the glass in wide rings that washed down the glass.

S: Dark fruit; raisins, dates and figs. Candi sugar, molasses and toffee. Yeast and malt aromas have an earthy, woody character that burns-in with alcohol.

T: Caramel and toffee are up front in the taste - briefly. Transitions quickly to the dark fruit flavors so prominent in the nose. Candi sugar and molasses pile on with alcohol-soaked black cherries. When it can't get any sweeter, musty leather and wet wood mellow the onslaught. The alcohol find its way through, but is fairly well disguised.

M: Medium-to-full body. Moderate carbonation. Coating and very sweet ahead of a earthy warm finish.

O: Fairly tame for a monster. Lots of malt and yeast character. Disguises the alcohol fairly well given the beer weighs-in at 14.5% ABV.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle 14,5% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a tulip wine glass.
Bottle 6002

This is my first beer from The Bruery and I paid quite a bit for it; I hope it was worth it.

Appearance: Almost opaque mahogany brown body that transforms into a beautiful burgundy with golden edges when backlight. A rough pour yields a large, creamy, cream coloured head that lasts pretty well for the abv. The receding head leaves minimal lace, but a quick swirl produces some lovely alcohol legs.

Smell: Wow, massive nose on this and actually quite far off what I expected. I'm not sure why, but I expected a "darker" nose.
Wonderful mixture of sweet caramel, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and almost belgianesque spiced fruit (peaches, golden apples, figs and raisins). Warming brings out a hint of leather, some wood, brandy and a touch of tobacco.

Taste: Again more Belgian notes - maybe I have gone made? Spiced golden and dark fruit notes combined with sweet caramel, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon and oak.
There is a subtle bitterness in the finish. Great alcohol coverage.

Mouthfeel: Almost a full body, lightly mouth coating with an average level of smooth, creamy carbonation. A little alcohol warmth is felt in the throat, but this goes down a little too easily for a 14,5% beer.

Overall: Not quite what I expected, but non the less a solid brew. The price would stop me getting this one again.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip glass thanks to finewinemike

Bottle number 09806

A- Pours a deep dark reddish brown with 1 finger worth of khaki head that sticks around leaving a rim of big bubbles sticking to the glass. Tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass, small head retention but some really nice sexy legs on the side of the glass.

S- Slightly roasted malts with lots of dark fruits like rum soaked raisins, figs, and dates. Also getting notes of molasses, vinous grapes, cherries, fresh leather, toffee, and slight wood notes. Definitely a big boozy note in there.

T- Sweet sweet toffee and caramel up front that is quickly taken away by a strong array of raisins, plums, and cherries. Lots of candied sugar, molasses, brown sugar to help with the sweetness, also big notes of wood, musty oak, and leather. Believe it or not the alcohol is there but very well blended and hidden.

M- Full bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice sweet mouth coating finish.


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Photo of brotherloco
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped and waxed bottle. Bottle #08969. Served in a tulip. Chilled slightly below cellar temperature since I knew it would take a long time to drink.

Pours a dark and somewhat transparent amber-red. 2 fingers of medium beige foam recede to a thick ring w/ large bubbles. Small amounts of lacing.

Aroma of dark fruits, plums and raisins. Rich sweetness with strong banana and hints of vanilla. Somewhat vinous. A hint of the big alcohol presence.

Flavor starts with the softer banana and vanilla notes from the aroma. A lot of sweet malt. Middle comes on a lot stronger with a vinous tingle and mild sourness. Sweetness gives way to the sour tinge and both flavors linger through the finish. There's a dry woody charcter to the finish as well, perhaps from barrel component. Alcohol very well buried, just emerges a bit in the aftertaste. Overall flavor is pretty similar to Coton, but I think I like this better as it is more integrated.

Medium-full body with a good amount of carbonation. Really drinkable for a beer of this strength.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Pours a two finger light tan head that fades very slowly to a thin layer leaving no lace. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Deep brown, hazy color with some yeast left in bottle. Nose is dark fruit and alcohol. Flavor is dark fruit, oak and alcohol. Nice old ale but not worth $23.95 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA. FWIW the bottle is wax sealed making the cap a pain in the rectal orifice to take off.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an extremely dark ruby red which appears to be a borderline chestnut brown. Clarity is good with moderate carbonation streaming from the center. One finger of off-white head dissipates quickly to a single, thick creamy topping. Good thick layer of fine lacing slides down the glass leaving a nice film.

There's the unfiltered part! The second pour is an impenetrable, murky reddish/mahogany color.

N: Concord grape, vanilla, oak, cherry, plum and I am getting some kind of tropical notes. Huge malts and extremely inviting.

T: Huge dark fruit maltiness! Figs, Concord grape, plums, vanilla and oak upfront with a slightly numbing booziness. A huge rush of grape comes in again with some molasses, cherry, candy sugar and a tiny hint of pineapple. Finishes with deep notes of dates, fig and cherry along with toffee, pineapple and charred cocoa.

M: Light-medium bodied, warming, creamy, soft and smooth with a subtle dryness.

O: Easily the best Old Ale I've ever had! Extremely rich, complex, potent and malty. Light touches of oak and vanilla are right on. 14.5%...I don't believe you! Dark fruit and malts galore!

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Photo of JizackFH
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a dark mahogany color. It has a nice 2-figner fluffy tan head on it. The head has pretty good retention, and it leaves behind some scattered lace on the glass.

S - There is a big smell of dark fruits such as figs, raisin, and cherries right away. There are some wood aromas, as well as some notes of vanilla and a bit of booziness.

T - The taste starts off with some roasted malt bitterness, and a pretty big bourbon flavor. There is also a big dark fruit present. Lots of raisin, fig, cherry, and plum. Some vanilla and wood are also there. There is some booziness present, but it isn't too much. The finish leaves some lingering roasted bitterness, dark fruitiness, and some booziness.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a little bit of a chewy quality to it. Overall, it has a pretty smooth mouthfeel. There is quite a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish, but I think it suits the beer well.

O - This has good drinkability. It is definitely a sipper, but the flavor is great. I just looked up and saw that this was 14.5% ABV. I figured by the taste that is was pretty high in alcohol, but it is definitely hidden pretty well for 14.5%. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I think it is a great Old ale. I was skeptical about buying this due to the $23 price tag, but I would definitely buy this one again. Try it out!

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip, did a side by side with the 100% BA version.

Appearance: Mahogany, minimal tan head, light lacing.

Smell: Bourbon, maple, dark fruit,vanilla, toffee and hits of oak and leather.

Taste: Brown sugar, bourbon, maple, toffee, vanilla, hints of leather and oak. Just like it smells.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, rich, decent carbonation.

Overall: Very drinkable, rich, boozy. Of the anniversary beers so far, this was the first time that I felt the BA version was superior to the regular version.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. I didn't care for this beer on tap, but I wondered why the hell Overlord liked it, so I tried it again out of a bottle. It's a little better, but it's still ridiculously sweet.

A: Pours a clear maroon-amber body. The initial pour (not even that aggressive) produces 3 fingers of beige head that eventually collapses into a long-retaining film on top of the beer.

S: Lots of candied grape / raisin and vanilla on the initial sniff. Additional aromas reveal toffee, brown sugar, and a touch of leather underneath it all. Quite nice, though sugar-dominated.

T: This is sweet, even cloying, but it's better than the tap iteration was. Tannins have stepped up to provide more balance against the sweetness of brown sugar, toffee, raisin, and vanilla. There is a mild bourbon presence in the finish, but it segues seamlessly into leather and oak once more. Just the same, it's really sweet. My fiancee drainpoured her half.

M: Well-hidden booze. Full-bodied. Cleaner finish and aftertaste than the tap iteration. What changed?

O: I finished my portion, but just barely, and only because I'm damn cheap. I definitely won't buy this again; unless I hear revolutionary things about the next few anniversary beers, I'm giving up on the regular versions. The 100% barrel-aged versions seem to be better.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First I'll say I needed a razor blade to get through the wax.

A: pours brown, with a slight hint of red when held to a light. Finger of light brown head didn't last long. Pour did seem visibly thick.
S: slight sour aroma. A little bit of yeast along with its normal spicy/pepper aroma. Some fruit hidden in with molasses/brown sugar.
T: slightly tartness upfront with some light fruitiness. In the middle there is even more fruit, with brown sugar and caramel. On the back end/aftertaste it is rather nutty almost brown ale like. There is some alcohol heat but not as much as coton had.
M: thick but I was expecting to be. Low carbonation makes it seem thicker, it seems low mainly due to the long time I've taken to sip on it.
O: like someone told me, this is better than coton, not as hot, but could still stand to wait a year or two to mellow out.

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Photo of maximum12
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Didn't really expect bottles of this brew to show up in Wisconsin just across the river, but they did. Would have picked up two except for the stiff price tag - ouch. 750ML bottles poured into two snifters. I gulped the remants. Good remants. One point.

What is with California breweries & their need to wax everything within an inch of its life? Go to New Glarus & see how this is done properly! Pour is ruddy, reddish brown, perhaps the darkest red one can get without using the black crayon. Suprisingly persistent head. The smell escapes it bonds immediately to find the nose: brown sugar, oak, vanilla. Good.

I have discovered that Cuir is not to be gulped, lest the alcohol rip your trachea out like a protective mama grizzly bear (I'm not looking at you, Sarah). Alcohol is stinging. Aside from the liver-shivering characteristics, there's a big dose of oak, one of the woodier beers I've had. Huge dose of vanilla, coated with figgy, prunish, raisin kind of tastes. The bourbon begins to cut into this bouillabaise as the beer warms. Almost a honey-like finish. Gargantuan body, this is a sipper that demands a pipe, wood fire, & a silk robe. Heavy & brutal. Yet strangely drinkable. I keep coming back to the glass to try to ferret out one more neat trick this beer wears on its sleeve.

Well, hell. This beer rocks my boat. Excellent. Complex, layered, tasty as all get-out. Best of the anniversary beers to date. Even at this price, I might have to go back & buy another one.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always buy any new Bruery beer as I find them. Their beers vacilate between good to excellent. I opened this beer to sip as I watched college football.

I shared this bottle with a friend. This beer was poured into snifter glasses.

The beer poured brown with some highlights of red in the coloring. I had a two finger head on the pour that came down to a very nice halo. This yielded some pretty good looking lacing.

Cuir smells rich. I could just smell this beer all day. I pick up the bourgon coming off the top. I even picked up some leathery smell.

At 16.5%, it isn't a surpise that I had alcohol heat in my mouth, then in the throat, and then the warming in my chest.

In the taste I picked up a lot of dark fruit (my friend identified figs). The bourbon qualities are very present. You can tasted the tobacco and vanilla coming out of the casks.

This was an excellent experience. I still smile in memory of the beer.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into large tulip

Pours a slightly hazed deep auburn color with some burnt hues and cherry red tones. A thin layering of beige head dissolves into bubbled film, leaving little lacing behind.

Plenty going on in the nose with heavy caramel and burnt sugar with candied notes. Raisin and dates mix with the vanilla, oak, and bourbon tones. Some tobacco and dark chocolate as well with alcohol heat.

Heavy and burly on the tongue with dark fruits, including raisin, date, and plum. Candi sugar with some burnt notes, syrupy caramel as well. Massive malt profile with plenty of sweetness, cut by the heat from the bourbon and alcohol. Some vanilla and oak as well. Finishes very warm with booze and some residual burnt sugar sweetness.

Full body, decent carbonation, fairly smooth on the tongue but lingers for a while with stickiness. Very complex, boozy, and interesting from top to bottom - another nice treat from The Bruery.

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Photo of 1Adam12
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally bought a bottle of this. After trying it, I want another one to let it sit for at least a year, probably 2.

Very dark murky orange. Smell is potent and nice. Smelled it as soon as I popped the top on the bottle. Dark fruits, raisins, figs, burnt sugar. Taste is the same, but the ABV makes itself known. Alcohol is very noticeable. Love the mouthfeel. Creamy and just slightly carbonated. I'd rank the taste and the mouthfeel at a 4.5 if the ABV wasn't so noticeable. I feel that after a year or two, the alcohol taste might mellow and makes this even more enjoyable. Very nice though. Not sure if it is worth the money, but still very nice.

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Photo of Naugros
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to The Duck for sharing this bottle. I would not have found this otherwise.

This raises more of a head than most old ales, but like its brethren, it loses it quickly. The color is of old, distressed leather...brownish with a tinge of orange.

The smell is exactly what one would expect in this style, dark fruits, booze and old leather. The overall impression is rum raisin with a bit of solvency, but not enough to ruin it.

The taste is really nice. "Dark fruit" can go so many directions, but most come off as raisin, so it tends to be par for the course. That's why I really enjoy those with more of a figgy profile and this one has that. But that's just the main flavor element; there's a lot going on here. The booze is still there and is not ashamed to make its presence known. It has to in order to be noticed at all against the vanillin coming from the barrel, the sweetness of the roasted malts that lend a treacle flavor and a background sense of tobacco. All these flavors live together in harmony giving a wonderful balance to this booze bomb.

One of the few complaints I have about this beer is the stickiness you get on the lips, but that's typical in these types of beers. The Bruery continues to deliver quality product; I just wish they weren't so highly priced.

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Cuir from The Bruery
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 596 ratings
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