Cuir | The Bruery

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195 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
195
Ratings:
588
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
20.39%
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
425
For Trade:
28
User Reviews
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Reviews: 195 | Ratings: 588
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.

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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.

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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 TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter at Poor Phil's.

Finally able to try this one...all it took was a side-trip to Oak Park. Figures. Anyway, it pours a deep cloudy brown topped by a finger of relatively short-lived dirty cream foam, which settles into a steady tonsure for the duration of the drink. The nose comprises figs, raisins, red grapes, mandarin orange syrup, toffee, very light roasted malts, light cocoa, and light maple syrup. The sweetness is undeniable, along with an undercurrent of booze. The taste shows us who's boss, though, with notes of bourbon, maple syrup, mandarin orange syrup, red grapes, red apple skin, figs, light molasses, lemon zest, light black cherry, dark chocolate, light oak, and a finish eerily reminiscent of caramel corn. A decently strong kick of booze strikes throughout. Everything's kinda muddled and insanely sweet, even for a sweet tooth like mine. Honestly, it was kinda hard to drink this all the way down. The body is a solid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and an oily feel. Overall, as much as I enjoyed Coton, Cuir just didn't do it for me. There' so much sweetness in so many forms, along with so much booze, that my tongue just couldn't quite deal with the onslaught.

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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.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
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 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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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%.

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

Pours a deep clear reddish brown color with a good three finger head that lasts a good long time but leaves very little lace in its wake. First pour gave lambic like sour cherry aromas that subsided as the beer was allowed to breathe. Smells of caramel, brown sugar, alcohol and lots of tart fruit. Taste is sweet with a bit of an alcohol burn. Brown sugar coated raisins and cherries toasted then dipped in light rum sums this one up for me. Sweet sticky mouthfeel, medium body and carbonation level. I liked this one, its a bit harsh with alcohol right now, but I think with a bit of age this one will mellow quite nicely.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC into a medium snifter, 10oz pour.. it's happy hour time!

A foamy tan head that is off yellow, with lots of stickyness. Cloudy body of dark somewhat murky brown is present. It's a real nice color and the head has incredible staying power.

First smell is table wine, then a big sense of caramel malts and sweetness. Concord like grape then cherry comes over with incredible fruit punch along with this malty backbone. Quite different.

Taste is at first a chocolate milk bent but more emphasis on a dry powdered malt almost Abuleta breakfast like. Grape sensation comes through with a dense body, almost... just a hint of citrus grapefruit wanting to peak out. Finish has a quinine tonic water sense but without the wetness, and ever so slight.

Overall very impressive, but kind of an odd mish mash of things. I think the brew is a little polarizing, I think people are either going to love this or hate it. It's high abv is incredibly masked and is still super drinkable, without a big boozy alcohol bomb in your stomach. For me this brew is great but also stupidly dangerous and sometimes, that's not a bad thing.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer served in my Bruery tulip, bottle 03479 for what it is worth. Beer is brown and hazy with a big off white head of small bubbles, nice retention, lots of lacing and moderate to high carbonation.

Beer smells sweet, molasses, bready, yeast, brown sugar. Smells good.

Beer is very sweet, lots of booze but tolerable. Tobacco, mild, nice yeast character. Smooth alcohol sweetness, mildly dry finish. Beer is really creamy and flavorful. I am really feeling this beer. Much better than Coton was last year. I really like it.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bruery Provisions in Orange, CA on 7/6/11

A - Poured a dark amber colour with a small amount of off-white head.

S - Brown sugar, burnt caramel, some noticeable alcohol. Very sweet nose.

T - Very sweet overall yet not overly sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, oak and some vanilla. Some noticeable alcohol as well. Complex.

M - Medium body. Smooth. Chewy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a light copper brown in color with light brown highlights and had a finger worth of head leaving a good amount of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront I was able to detect some banana in the aroma with a variety of spices but were not over powering, alongside toffee, caramel, molasses notes and faint oak character.

T: I was right about the banana character cause it was noticeable in the taste as well with toffee, caramel, molasses notes, and a touch of dark fruits.

M;The brew was medium to full in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild fruity, oaky, slight spice, and sticky finish.

D: It was actually drinking above average for an old ale and had a nice little twist to it as well. Definitely would have again and keep another in the cellar to see how it might develop.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. I don't think it belongs in the "old ale" category, but what the hell do i know. It reminds me of Westy 8

Pours a dark amber, brown, somewhat murky and rich. Not a huge head on it at all. A soft white collar of foam settles as it drinks.

Aroma is strong baked caramel and orchard fruits, hints of alcohol and vanilla. Somewhat bready underneath.

Tastes fantastic. Age on this thing will calm it down a bit on the abv, but really it isn't all that noticeable. The caramel provides a sweet base and the orchard fruits--apples mostly--seem almost like cider; fermented and 'over-ripe'. This provides a nice, rich flavor that hides the alcohol quite well. Slight hint of sour cherries on the end, and the abv does kick in as well as it finishes.

darn good

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Bruery Provisions, on to the beer:

What is this color, brown violet? Ok, how about dark brown that is trying to cross over to violet? Regardless, not much head on top of this one. The nose features lots of brown sugar, dates, a little wood, and even a light tartness.

Have a glass of water nearby, because Cuir is a big bodied beer with a taste that will smuther your palate. No surprise given that this is over 14% ABV. The rush of brown sugar never seems to end. The sweetness of red grapes adds another dimension to this behemoth of a beer. There's a light amount of wood character present. The alcohol is hidden extremely well, which has become synonymous with The Bruery's big beers. Full bodied with a little stick, yet remains very easy to approach.

Not super complex among strong beer, yet remains a beer that is worth trying. I'm already imagining the possible added dimensions of the 100% barrel aged version.

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Photo of liamt07
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Foods on S Las Vegas Blvd in Vegas, 750ml bottle into some tulips.

Dark brown with some redder tones, not much in the way of head retention and lace. Nose has grapes, leather, nuts, dark fruits, spicing with a touch of liqueur. Taste has sweet caramel, dark fruit notes, earthy and nutty. Mouthfeel is huge, alcohol is detectable although I didn't think it resembled that listed. A definite sipper.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to dsgolovin for this brew.

750ml
Black Wax/Capped
2011 Vintage
Bottle No: 9335

Poured into goblet a very nice grapy color, very nice carbonation, with a HUGE two-finger foamy off-white head, and leaves a HUGE island of thick creamy sticky lacing in the middle of the glass. The nose is very nice malty, slightly yeast, with lots of cherries, plums, raisins, and figs. The taste is malty, sweet, with lots of dark fruits, very nice cherry note. Full/Medium Body, a slightly dry finish. ABV is hidden very well, definitely a sipper. One of the best Old Ales I've had to date, highly recommended. Thanks Dave!

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Photo of aasher
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I highly regret not buying a Coton when I could so I had to buy Cuir asap. It pours a dark, syrupy brown in color with a light beige lacing around my Founders snifter. It smells of buttered biscuits initially, like buttered Bisquik biscuits (my grandma's specialty). Add a little honey, molasses, and oak and you've got Cuir. The biscuity malt smells delicious. The flavors consist of biscuity malt, lightly salty butter, brown sugar, molasses, oak, oak again, dark fruits, figs, and biscuits! Alcohol? I couldn't find any. Holy shit this beer is ready for consumption, which isn't what I heard about Coton. It drinks a little sticky, which was to be expected, and is medium in body. It's extremely drinkable and you would honestly have no idea that this beer is even above 10%. It's definitely drinking well for just arriving some four days ago. I'm really beside myself at how good this is, in all facets. I never expected Cuir to be this outstanding so young. I'm really, really interesting in seeing how this one ages. The Bruery has only disappointed me a couple times. Beers like this are why people are set up for disappointment in the first place, because they make some world class beers. This is one of them.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Bruery,

A: Pours brown with a soft white head, good retention, nice lace.

S: Lots of malt with a hint of oxidation, sweet caramel.

T: Dominated by sweet toffee and caramel with some good barrel notes. Really no ethanol flavours, much more like the original Papier fresh.

M: Full-bodied with an easy soft carbonation on the palate, very smooth.

O: Much more of a delight fresh than Coton which was an alcohol bomb. Good structure and well integrated flavours. Drinks well know, but can certainly age.

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Photo of biegaman
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
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 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 HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8/21/2011

On tap at Provisions.

A: Brown with an orange hue when held to light. The head is a finger of tan foam.

S: Pronounced brown sugar with notes of maple and toffee. There's just a whisper of bourbon, and oak is evident. I detect prune, date, and raisin.

T: Brown sugary sweetness with leather, earthy bitterness, and a little maple. Caramel and toffee suffuse the palate, accompanying prune, fig, and raisin. Booze is well masked.

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and smooth with warming.

Overall: My favorite of the regular anniversary beers thus far. Good stuff, but potent.

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Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to warriorsoul...
Appears a chestnut toned amber with a small beige head that quickly fades into a thin collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of black grapes, vanilla, toffee, caramel, and bitter citrus.
Taste is sweet of beet sugar, prune juice, raisins, and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, viscous, hot, and slick in the finish.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
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 lacqueredmouse
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from A&W Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a reddish, burnt ochre colour, quite cloudy and opaque. Head forms as an incredibly fine but incredibly voluminous majestic crown of yellowish off-white. Minimal lacing, but the body is exceptionally thick and silky. Really, it looks quite amazing, especially for a beer of this ABV.

Smell is deep, and boozy, and to be honest, not much else. There are hints of the oak, but it's hidden behind the almost vaporous boozy headiness coming off it. Some mild, slightly funky fruitiness, and a dusty or polleny character on the back. It's good, but it's unapologetically coarse and large.

Taste is also in that vein, with a big boozy astringency throughout almost the entire palate from start to finish, almost burning the throat as it goes down. There's fragrant sweetness all over it, but in some senses it's missing all the sweetness it needs, instead, you get the medicinal booziness with no substance. I can't help but feel that it's pointlessly large, and without real merit.

Feel is tight and silky, but pummelled with that pointless alcohol astringency on the back.

Overall...? I mean, it's an impressive beer. There's no getting away from its raw power. But it's also stupid. It's a beer that shouldn't really exist. You need something to warrant this high an alcohol content. And this just doesn't have it.

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Cuir from The Bruery
92 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.
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