4 Calling Birds | The Bruery

very good
577 Ratings
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4 Calling Birds4 Calling Birds

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Spiced Strong Dark Ale. The Twelve Days of Christmas series continues! We took inspiration from the traditional winter warmer for our fourth verse, integrating gingerbread spices into a robust dark ale. Notes of licorice & banana bread mingle with dark fruit, molasses and bitter chocolate for a perfect cold weather sipper!

Added by Thorpe429 on 10-25-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 577 |  Reviews: 190
Photo of HopBrain
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Beeradelphia
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of bcostner1
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle aged for 1 year. As a gingerbread inspired beer, this more or less hits the mark. The body is a hazy dark brown topped by two fingers of dense, clinging froth. The nose is heavy on molasses, tart dark fruit and caramelized banana, with an undertone of spice. A year of aging has caused the spices to drop off considerably; I remember them being almost overwhelming when the beer was fresh. Nutmeg seems the dominant spice now, with a touch of ginger. On the palate it's still somewhat boozy and could probably benefit from another year of age. Banana and dark fruit esters wash the palate first, followed by rich molasses and a slightly astringent and bitter kick of nutmeg and allspice. Sweetness is moderate, not cloying by any means, and there's a sturdy dark malt backbone that does taste a hell of a lot like gingerbread. The finish grows a bit harsh after a while, making it a chore to drink more than one pour. Further aging may improve this. As it stands, it's a solid but flawed beer. If I had any more bottles, I'd give them at least another year.

 1,070 characters

Photo of ShemRahBoo
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Gehrig13
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of 3SH33TS
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.04/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark brown. Head is quick to fizzle out into an amoeba shaped skim.

Smells rancid. Slightly rotten, fermenting dark fruit to be exact. Very potent nutmeg and cinnamon on top of that trash heap.

Brute force, Ronnie Coleman strong gingerbread spices with that same fermenting dark cassis, elderberry and soggy tobacco in back. Yuck.

A double drain pour. My wife and I have a tradition of drinking the previous years Christmas Bruery offering while opening gifts. After dumping 3 French Hens we said 4 Calling Birds would be our last if it went down the drain...

 564 characters

Photo of Lare453
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of lilredrocket
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of brewdude1982
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a 750 ml poured into a snifter.

It pours a dark brown with a tan head and tiny bubbles. Good carbonation. Decent lacing. It smells sweet with a figs or cantaloupe. It tastes malty which immediately dissapates into sweet and then finally into some of the spices. It has medium body. I would recommend to anyone into darker belgiums.

 341 characters

Photo of bmf0
1/5  rDev -73.7%

Photo of bigaltemple
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown, and appears almost black in the glass. Two-finger, dark tan head becomes a thin cap, but shows good retention. Hit and miss spots of lacing.

S - Plenty going on here, but it just comes across a little too jumbled for me. Heavy dosing of spices, with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and lots of malt.

T/M - Much like the nose, a lot of spicing that just doesn't come together for me. The aftertaste is the same, and lasts way too long. Mouthfeel is actually decent, with a full body, and just prickly enough carbonation.

O - Don't plan on drinking again, unless all twelve are in front of me.

 611 characters

Photo of NickT1218
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: almost no head on a deep dark amber brown body.

S: lots of dark fruit including raisin, plum, fig and cocoa with a nice dark chocolate and vanilla presence. hint of gingerbread and roasted malts.

T: dark chocolate, vanilla, dark molasses, light peppers, dark fruit mostly plum and strawberry, roasted malts, well hidden booze, tart and as usual very complex

M: fairly thin for what I was expecting. moderate carbonation. not very dry for the style.

Overall: this one is really drinkable, more so than I would think. Definitely very complex

 546 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small head of light tan foam on top of an opaque, dark brown body. The head settles fairly quickly but leads decent traces of lace on the glass.

S - Graham cracker and chocolate, with some roasted nuts, caramel, and ginger.

T - Spicy chocolate up front with caramel and bready malt. Some clove and ginger in the middle with a bit of vanilla, and more chocolate in the finish.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - Nicely done, this beer doesn't sound good to me when I read the description, but it is actually very good. The spices and malt blend better than I would have ever expected and it is oddly drinkable for a beer of this strength.

 706 characters

Photo of dorkinajeep
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of blindpiggie
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of jkane101
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of stabbingcontest
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of AlexandAbi
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of aflies
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Peller80
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mcbeerbrew
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
3.8 out of 5 based on 577 ratings.
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