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4 Calling Birds | The Bruery

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4 Calling Birds4 Calling Birds
Very Good
577 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 577 |  Reviews: 190
Photo of RickS95
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's almost as black as night, much darker than most beers of the style I've had...looks like a dark porter or stout. The head is fleeting, but while it's there, it's a light brown, leaving an attractive ring of contrasting white film on the perimeter.

Molasses, cinammon and ginger dominate the nose, all in a good way. Only as it warms do you pick up the chocolate and alcohol.

Dark rich fruits, molasses, and even a cola-like caramel on the tongue, with a slight hop note and alcohol warmth in the swallow.

Really creamy up front. A gentle sweetness as the beer moves from front to back. Some spices in the middle, with a gentle hoppy bitter in the finish, along with some heat from the alcohol. Medium- to heavy-bodied with just the right amount of sweet, spice, bitter and alcohol.

Overall, this is a really mild beer for such high ABV. The flavors all work very well together. The sensations are great. I'm glad I purchased this.

 939 characters

Photo of SolarMikey
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Fermenticusrex
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown color topped with an off white head. Also this one seemed to be very well carbonated as it exploded out of the bottle all over the kitchen.

S Some gingerbread and a bit of molasses, Also a slight medicinal/plastic note is present.

T More gingerbread, some allspice and clove. However there is more of that medicinal/plastic note.

M Full body with lots of carbonation.

Overall this would be better if it wasn't for that plastic note.

 503 characters

Photo of Pellinore1
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of imagese
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas present from best friend. Got this with a package that included a bottle of CBS (didn't see that comin).
appearance: Deep reddish brown. Some large bubbles in the tan head.
smell: Rich and malty, some dark fruit and spice.
taste: Complex and rich, yet with a gentle touch. A pleasant touch of Char in the finish.
mouthfeel: a little oily, in a pleasant way.
overall: Interesting and good, bordering on great.

 419 characters

Photo of clegolfski
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of PowDay
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of jp7161
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of guild337
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Mahlik
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beermongers. Poured into Logsdon tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark brown, almost opaque black, with a big two-finger creamy tan head. Head retention is pretty good. Great lacing that covers the sides of my glass.

S - Lots of clove, cinnamon, gingerbread aromas, brown sugar, Belgian yeasts. A chocolatey maltiness and dark fruits wallow in the background. Aroma reminds me of Christmas.

T - Chocolate malts, spices, cinnamon and vanilla all hit first. Overall, it's almost like dark chocolatey malts mixed with gingerbread. Dark fruits (raisins, prunes, plums) also contribute. The alcohol comes out a bit more in the taste.

M - A nice creamy medium-full body. Light carbonation. Finishes a bit light and slightly dry. Alcohol makes itself presents towards the end but isn't as strong as one might expect.

O - A good Christmas beer from the Bruery. I would have expected a little more in the taste department, especially from a Bruery beer. I enjoyed the brew and the slight buzz I got from drinking it.

 1,016 characters

Photo of n00blar
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of KevSal
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of rand
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From tap to tulip

A: Dark brown in color, opaque, virtually no head or lacing.

S: Raisin, cherry, non-descript ripe fruit. Alcohol swarms, warms.

T: Cherry phenols up front, the raisin is somewhat lost. Touch of holiday spice, lots of alcohol warming. Flavor profile is fairly simple, finishes how it starts - cherry-sweet with bitter phenols and an alcohol bite.

M: Medium-to-heavy bodied, relavitively light complexion for the 11%.

4 Calling Birds is highly drinkable for the style, but unremarkable. Nothing is off-putting but I expected something
more layered and interesting. Other than the phenolic bitters mellowing, I don't see how this will get better with age, we'll see.

 691 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap.

Four Calling Birds glides into the glass looking dark brown/mahagony in color with a fair amount of dense tannish/brown foam up top. It sits there for a bit leaving spots on the glass, great retention.

Smell comes out with a nice pungent array of holiday/winter spice. A nice plum accent with some dark brown sugar and caramel sweetness bursting from the glass. Cherry with alot of warming, this one smells nice.

And tastes nice too. 4 calling birds has a lot of spice character that is not so large it lingers. Candy apple, caramel swirl, cherry, some bready Belgian yeast and candi sweetness. Not usually my thing, but in small doses everything is good.

Feel is nice and juicy and sweet, but not over the hill. Spices up front with a nice sweet malty background. It's carbed up to where it needs to be in the style. It's a bit hot on the 1st few sips but that subsides after the flavor builds.

Im not sure if this beer has the legs to go 8 duckets. It seems to be drinking fine now but a year or two may tone down that alcohol. I could of went for more, no off flavors for me at least and the slight warmth from the alc. was nice on this cold night.

 1,164 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass to enjoy with a friend. A thick, sweet beer like this one would be hard to drink on my own. A bomber of this would probably mess up my stomach.

You will get minimal foam and carbonation on this one. However, I did get the foam coming out the mouth when I opened the bottle.

This beer smells really good. You get the heavy spices and that well made dark ale presence. The taste is more of the same with a good balance of flavors, including the spice.

The feel is very smooth across the pallatte.

I really enjoyed this beer, and I recommend it wherever you can find it today.

 606 characters

Photo of StonePhil
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of mhaugo
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

The way things are going with me, I might be stuck with just the even-numbered entries in this series... Anyway, this one pours a very dark brown topped by a finger-and-a-half of bright tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder, black pepper, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, toffee, Belgian candi sugar, and light roasted malts. The taste brings in more of the same, with the spices really taking center stage: It's like liquefied gingerbread dipped in chocolate to a major degree. Good times. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a very enjoyable brew. 'Nuff said.

 683 characters

Photo of pants678
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown body with a beige frothy head. Very deep, not transparent.

Smells of oak and gingerbread, cinnamon, maple. Fairly pungent.

Definitely gingerbread and raisins up front with a nice clove/pine hop bite on the back end. Little bit a bourbon warmth too it, smokey but still very much like a nicely roasted cookie. May be missing a stronger note of fruit.

Smooth, not necessarily crisp. Not as much a meal as a porter.

 430 characters

Photo of rpaul2012
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of groetman
4/5  rDev +5%

4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 577 ratings
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