Cuir | The Bruery

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
595 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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CuirCuir
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States
thebruery.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
595
Reviews:
199
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
11.65%
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
424
For Trade:
30
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 595 |  Reviews: 199
Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -20.1%
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-

 4,323 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A hard pour generates about an inch of foam that caps the auburn-colored liquid; leggy patches of foam dot the sides of the chalice

Smell: Caramel, cinnamon, fig, leather and bourbon elements, all accented by a booziness that burns the nostrils

Taste: Caramel, cinnamon and fig forward, with a developing tart apple character; in the middle, the booziness starts to dominate and, after the swallow, the tartness, the leather and the booze co-mingle; the finish was long-lasting, with fig and tart apple flavors lingering

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with low to moderate carbonation; very boozy, with a lot of wamth in the gullet and a puckering quality due to the tartness

Overall: I drank the Coton early on and allowed this one to cellar for a while; while this beer has a lighter character than my memory of Coton, both brews fail the drinkability test; there are a lot of interesting angles to this beer, but after a few sips, my palate cries out for relief

Note - I tried another bottle at the end of 2013 and, after two and a half years, the beer is finally drinking like I hoped it would - bumped up the scores as a result

Thanks, RuckusDu, for the opportunity to re-visit

 1,201 characters

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.

 642 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.32/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle (Cuir version): Poured a dark brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with medium retention and some light lacing. Aroma of alcohol ester are pretty strong with some light vanilla notes and some toffee and sweet caramel notes. Taste is also dominated by quite strong bourbon notes with some sweet toffee and very sweet caramel malt notes. Body is quite full with medium carbonation and too much alcohol was apparent. The idea behind this beer is great but the execution is less then perfect. Even after two year aging the beer is still way too hot and lacking attenuation.

 585 characters

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

 1,390 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

 161 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bilbo Baggins in Alexandria. Served in a tulip. Lucky enough to drink this glass while talking to Patrick.

Pours a moderate caramel-copper color with a really nice tan head, especially considering the abv. A bit of lacing on the way down after some good retention. Lacing on the sides of the glass and a collar throughout. The nose carried some strong notes of brown sugar along with a bit of molasses and a touch of alcohol. Light tobacco notes.

The flavor melded everything together beautifully. This thing already tastes quite aged, and it is extraordinarily difficult to believe that it's 14.5%. Smooth brown sugar and molasses with light tobacco and a slight dry bitterness to the finish. Full bodied with only a slight presence of booze. Extraordinarily well done. Glad to know that the trend for these beers is only to get better and better.

 861 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours with one finger of light tan head on top of a clear, deep amber body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace.

S - a spicy aroma of plums, sandalwood, leather, smoke and anise.

T - sweet caramel and brown sugar up front with a distinct, fruity note of plum. Cherry and oak in the middle with some more dark fruit character. The beer finishes with more oak, some vanilla and a smoky cherry note that lingers with a slightly warming alcohol.

M - a thick, syrupy body, moderately high carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D complex and enjoyable, this beer is even bigger than I expected. While it was nice, I couldn't help but think about the statement in the bottle that suggested cellaring the beer for up to 20 years; not only does that seem reasonable now that I've tasted it, but I expect that it could actually improve for 15 years if given the chance.

 885 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

opaque except for just the smallest amount of reddish brown that peaked through on the sides when you held it up directly to the light, but still this was enormously big looking. Deep mahogany tones

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. So complex, with rich earthy tones running rampant through it. Warm oak infused notes of brandy like alcohol running over the tongue, so sweet and sugary. As you roll it around you start to notice there is a little bit of a bitter bite to this one. Way down deep under all of the malt, there was a subtle bitter hoppiness, very grainy and earthy, but it was there, and really pushed through on the finish. Long drawn out finish it was, soo complex, with every sip letting you discover more and more flavors. Deep dark fruit now coming through for me, really started to actually dominate the scene all together. Huge raisin and plum notes giving it that sweet but yet tart dark fruit flavor we all come to love. A spicy touch in the back perhaps, but here comes that little bit of bitterness to wrap it all up. Wow, this was amazing.

 1,226 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap today at Galaxy Hut today in Arlington, VA. Poured into a 10 oz. snifter.

a - Pours a deep reddish brown color with less than an inch of light tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, cherries, oak, molasses, sweet fruit, plums, toffee, and very light vanilla. Little bit of alcohol but not a ton considering 14.5% ABV. A lot fruitier and sweeter than I was expecting. Little more alcohol came out in the nose as it warmed up.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, alcohol, sweet cherries and fruits, oak, toffee, caramel malts, and roasted malts. More toffee and caramel than the nose, as well as more alcohol. No real vanilla in the taste and plenty of sweet fruit again.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. You can notice some alcohol in the taste but this beer isn't hot like Coton was. Surprisingly easy to drink for 14.5% ABV.

o - Overall I liked this one. It didn't blow me away but it was a ton better than Coton, which I did not really like. It was a lot fruitier and sweeter than I was expecting. I've got two bottles of this and considering the high ABV I'll be interested to see what happens to this one after some time in the cellar.

EDIT: 11/04/13 - Had this one again tonight, about 2.5 years later from my initial review. I've had it once since, and the 100% BBA Cuir a few times since (which is one of my favorite Bruery beers ever), and the alcohol has definitely died down a bit. While it is still not as good as Fruet or Bois, it is better than it was fresh (slightly), and still has a lot of sweet fruit. Bumping the Overall from a 4.00 to a 4.25.

 1,606 characters

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.

 725 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Didn't take note of the bottle number. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep red that looks brown. Vigorous pour yields a nice tan head with good lacing, which is amazing at this ABV. The second glass I poured had almost nothing. Hmm.

Smell - Apples and booze. Some earthiness that manifests itself as leather. Apples aren't my favorite, but this smells nice.

Taste - Apples again, but still good. Much stronger bourbon in the taste than the smell. Leathery and earthy, which I loved.

Mouthfeel - Thin, really, for the ABV. A bit dry, probably explaining the apples. Not as boozy as I'd expect at this ABV.

Overall - Very good, but dominated by the damn apples. Still delicious from the other flavors that come through. Hardly tastes 14.5%.

 761 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Cuir from The Bruery
4.12 out of 5 based on 595 ratings.
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