The Bruery

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Old Ale
4.48 | pDev: 7.37%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Unlike previous anniversary beers, ALL Fruet is 100% bourbon barrel-aged.
Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 767 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 brew... so 8 years in the cellar. Poured from a wax topped bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Hazy/opaque caramel brown pour. Thin off-white head leaves a ring of lacing. A bit of sediment at the finish.

S: Fruit and booze. Sugar and sweets... the nose hits you hard.

T.F: Thick and sweet. Caramel and brown sugar mixed with cherry, fig, raisin, and plum. Boozy... but for a 15.5% behemoth this went down super easy. Not as strong bourbon character as expected, but that could be the age. Just a whiff of vanilla and some oak. Mostly fruit and dark sugars and it's absolutely delicious. Super sticky on the tongue... complex and warming.

O: Absolutely outstanding, and held up amazingly given the age. Delicious beer... if you see a bottle floating around then grab it!

Mar 15, 2020
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iebforever from California

4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Stashed in back of fridge but still had layer of dust on it. Dark brown opaque in color, tan head dissipated quickly. Dark fruit and malty sweetness in the nose after the beer warms. Sweet dark fruit (prune, fig, raisin) and brown sugar in flavor. Alcohol is evident but well hidden by body of the beer. Impressed with how well this beer held up and aged. Not the vanilla notes I expected from bourbon barrel aging, but tis beer did not disappoint.

Dec 27, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage; drank 1/17/17 @ California Split.

Opaque purple/brown appearance.

Minimal khaki head; no lace.

Brandy, marshmallow, raspberry & mild oak notes in the nose.

Smooth, thick mouthfeel.

Marshmallow, caramel & raspberry flavors up front; cognac & oak notes on the finish.

An incredible amalgam; this has aged beautifully.

Mar 25, 2019
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.94/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very rich, and sweet from bourbon and malts. Well aged. Must be shared by multiple people because what it is. 2012 version bottle. The rest to tender meat.

Jan 21, 2018
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SHODriver from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown with a finger of light tan head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of toffee and caramel with some fruity notes along with a nice hit of bourbon barrel goodness with some oak and vanilla
T: Taste is toffee and caramel with oak, light chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits and hints of raisins. Swallow is more oak, toffee, vanilla, caramel, and fruitiness.
M: This beer is thick and chewy on the palate with a very nice level of carbonation and a dry finish.
O: Ho-ly shit. This beer is off the chain. I can't put into words how amazing this beer is tasting. Great base beer, nice and well integrated barrel notes and it all plays so well together it should be illegal. If you have one of these still you owe it to yourself to drink it.

Aug 12, 2017
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Beersnake1 from California

4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cracked this from fridge temp into Bruery tulip. It's now 4 years old. Pours a very dark brown with almost no carbonation. Smell is very heavy on toffee and dark fruit. I'm getting plum, raspberry, blackberry, candy, and maybe a hint of maple. Taste follows the nose, but now lots of bourbon. A bit of a alcohol burn and lots of caramel. This is so smooth. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Amazing.

Dec 15, 2016
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shoegueuze from California

4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has developed into such a stunning beer, beautifully unctuous and velvety with just a hint of bourbon caramel corn sweetness along the oak backdrop. There are some dark stone fruit notes in there along with rum raisins, brown sugar, and cane syrup, all brought together beautifully by a wonderfully thick mouthfeel. Fantastic take on the style.

May 16, 2016
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.99/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fruet 2012, consumed in early April 2016 and shared with friends. Reminds me of Bruery Bois 100% Bourbon. Dark and murky look, stunning nose full of grape must, burnt sugar and raisins.

Even better flavor, with all the boozy sweetness you expect from an old ale. Caramel, butterscotch, oak and barrel. Some tobacco, rum and coconut; aromas of Caribbean pirate.

It drinks great despite the massive ABV, but it amazes me that even after four years, this is still hot and boozy (in a good way). Would love to try it after ten years...

One of my favorite beers EVER!

Apr 12, 2016
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wcu80 from Georgia

4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely delectable. Caramel, bourbon deliciousness. The best Bruery beer I've ever had and one day that I would seek out anytime. Doesn't taste anywhere near 15% abv. Simply delicious.

Apr 10, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown and red appearance, thin head, dark brown. Aroma was a complex mix of syrup, bourbon, chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla.

Taste was like drinking a liquid cracker jack with bourbon. Plenty sweet, caramel, leather, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, toffee. This was a great beer to drink fresh, and every one I've had since then (which is quite a few) has been just as good, can't say they've really changed.

Probably the best of the anniversary series thus far.

Jan 03, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Large shared bottle.
Complex fairly appealing aroma but a great, complex flavor. Medium+ body with medium-light carbonation.
Lingering aftertaste suggesting good fruitcake (that's not an oxymoron).

Dec 06, 2015
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jason3125 from Vermont

4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer starts out with a strong smell of alcohol and leather, with notes of a boozy apple cider. Dark fruit and caramel round it out. The taste follows the nose. Balanced carbonation. Overall a solid beer

Oct 17, 2015
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sweemzander from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into a snifter
(A)- Pours a dark burnt sienna color with minimal froth
(S)- Big leathery caramel and toffee meets subtle molasses and toasty oak
(T)- Similar to the smell. Big caramel and toffee with a kiss of toasty vanilla oak
(M)- Hugely rich and sweet. Not hot necessarily but a big beer nontheless. Good carbonation level for the style with no signs of oxidation yet
(O)- This is aging well. Big and sweet yet starting to smooth out and tone down the harsh edges

Sep 07, 2015
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mahogany hue with no head or lacing. Nose is amazing - toffee, butterscotch, brown sugar and booze. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of raisins, figs and a sugary quality. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body, but a bit thinner than anticipated, with an almost still carbonation. Overall, this is an amazing beer but it is super sweet. Best shared amongst many.

Jun 27, 2015
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out as a murky looking brown color with a little thin head on top. The smell of over ripe dark fruits shine through on this one along with some vanilla and oak. The taste of the beer is rich with caramel flavors, some other dark fruits and sugars in there too. Overall it's a good beer for the style.

Apr 18, 2015
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KYGunner from Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In what can only be described as one of the most decadent and sinful ales I've ever had. The nose holds sweet caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, espresso, maple and fudge brownie.

This drinks like a liquefied turtle dessert with nutty pecan surrounded in caramel and smothered in rich milk chocolate. Hints of maple, molasses and toffee compliment a truly delicious beer.

Jan 06, 2015
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smells of caramel, vanilla, oak, sweet booze, brown sugar, and toffee. Getting all that in the taste as well. Super rich, decadent, thick and viscous. Reminded me of a ramped up version of BB4D. So good.

Jan 05, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

just a splendid glass of ale here, a wonderful beer in this series, which has pushed big beers to their limit. its got a ton of bourbon character to it, even though its got some age on it, it also has a fresh malty fruitiness, an intense vanilla and booze intersection, and a dried fruit taste that includes cherry, date, and pear, at the very least. cocoa notes in with the sticky bread pudding character of the malt, a nice mix of red and roasty types, and the body is just as big as it has been in the others. even with the age, i dont think the flavors are quite as well integrated as they were in the bois, but its still maturing i am sure. the bourbon is a lot, less oak, more of the actual whiskey, which goes expertly with the malt profile built up here. the beer is very sweet, sweeter than i even remember sucre being, which limits the drinkability (as if we were going to slam this one right?), and it gets hot alcohol wise as it warms up even a little. its a sipper and a sharer, with as much viscosity as you can imagine. was a pleasure to be part of sharing this bottle, i would love to get the chance to try another one in a few years, see how it develops. the bruery is pacing the pack with the big barrel aged blends, this is further proof of that.

Jan 04, 2015
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superspak from Ohio

4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter: bottle #14242, bottled in early 2012. Pours hazy nearly opaque dark brown color with a small fairly dense khaki head head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big raisin, plum, date, fig, peach, pear, apple, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, oak, leather, tobacco, brown sugar, coconut, licorice, light chocolate, and yeast/oak earthiness. Incredible complexity and balance of dark malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, fig, date, peach, pear, apple, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, molasses, toast, bourbon, oak, tobacco, leather, brown sugar, licorice, coconut, light chocolate, and yeast/oak earthiness. Slight earthy/oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruits, pear, apple, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, toast, molasses, licorice, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, tobacco, leather, coconut, light chocolate, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Insane complexity and robustness of dark malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an incredible malt/barrel balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, slick, and lightly sticky/syrupy mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish for 15.5%. Overall this is an absolutely world class old ale style. All around incredible complexity and balance of dark malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. An insanely delicious and smooth high gravity offering.

Oct 23, 2014
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml waxed bottle poured into balloon snifter 14/6/14, cheers Adam for sharing (from notes)

A clear brownish amber, a couple bubbles under a thin film, not much for lace but some wide legs going down the side

S vanilla, lots of sweet bourbon, a pile of brown sugar, a little wood, raisins, there's some booze but very well hidden all things considered, faint molasses, caramel galore, more vanilla and bourbon, more like a liqueur then beer but its working wonders for me

T thankfully it mimics the smell, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, its sweet but manageable, tastes as good as it smells

M thick and syrupy, a little heat but I'd never guess its over 15%, sticky on the lips and a sweet woody finish

O all the important parts are well taken care of, smells and tastes awesome, a little sweet and boozy but its a minor complaint

I'd lay this down for a decade if I had a bottle, drinking well now but this one will be something special down the road, I'm just happy I got to try it today, delicious stuff

Jun 25, 2014
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mooseo from Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml into snifter.

A - Brown with copper highlights.

S - Caramel, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit. Boozy.

T - Bourbon, caramel, and vanilla dominate with hints of cherry, bread, and molasses. Complex and very delicious.

M - Incredibly creamy and smooth. Full bodied, low carbonation, warming alcohol.

O - One of the best beers ever. Not only is it a great example of the old ale style, but it has distinct character and a great balance of flavors. Very drinkable at 15.5% ABV.

Apr 18, 2014
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If birthdays tastes this good, who need cake? Just bring me Fruet! To kick off their fourth year, this masterfully blended and perfectly aged ale celebrates all things "olde" but with a manly bourbon kick!

The beer decants more like port or sherry than it does of ale, but with the faint carbonation that allows a dainty creme of foam to simmer to the top, the ale's tarnish head looks more like espresso froth than beer also. Its tawny, auburn bronze body is dark through the center but lightens to a golden color at its edge. Mild speckling lace creeps down the glass with a turbulent swirl.

Strong aromas of malt sweetness take over the room as the beer pours- boisterous toffee, molasses, maple and bourbon waft about and does so in highly seductive fashion. Mildly toasty, the taste of buttery cashews, faint chocolate and coffee weave into the malt complexities for a robust character as well. Fruity with drunken grapes, dates, figs and plumbs all give a darker and more deviant turn as the ale seems savory with port and sherry as much as it does of bourbon.

That first sip captivates the taste buds with sultry sweetness- just as the nose suggested. Black-strap molasses, maple syrup, and seared toffee gives a taste that hinges on peanut brittle except for a more robust toast, cocoa and kona-type taste. As the fruits weave into its taste, so do the savory, umami-rich taste of dark, dried, stone fruit that seem to have been dipped in soy sauce. Lightly salty and sweet- it hits all the savory parts of the tongue. Finishing with the unmistakable taste of charred wood, vanillans and booze- its bourbon influence is obvious but never overwhelming.

And its decadent character continues as the ale lays a thick and somewhat oily coat on the mouth to fully saturate the taste buds. Its light carbonation aids its chewy texture as there's little to pull the beer from the surfaces of the mouth. This allows for a patient development toward finish with slowly growing alcohol warmth, a quietly drying taste, and an indefinite linger of sherry and bourbon.

Fruet is a special occasion beer that'll rival the best of port wine or sherry. Its lavish malt flavors work harmoniously with the bourbon barrel influences for a highly rewarding taste that's not easily forgotten.

Feb 06, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Ruby brown. Brown head. Syrupy appearance. Faint wisps on top.

Smell - Lots of vanilla. Bourbon. A little bit of oxidation. Caramel all over.

Taste - Tons of vanilla and caramel. Bourbon is delicious. Brown sugar. Oak is strong in the finish. Not a complex beer, but it's delicious.

Mouthfeel - A little astringent. Boozy, but not more than I braced myself for. Heavy, but doesn't feel as syrupy as other Bruery sugar bombs.

Overall - As I said, it's nothing complex, but I love it.

Feb 02, 2014
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dgilks from Australia

4.01/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany colour with a small tan head. Fair head retention.

Big melanoidin aroma. Sweet but heavily caramelised. Breast with lots of toast.

Sweet and toasty. Nutty. There is an almost milkiness. Tons of flavour here.

Full body. Moderate carbonation. Okay.

A really solid beer. Tons of flavour. The intense caramel notes are awesome.

Jan 18, 2014
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dirtylou from New York

4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, half acre goblet

Buried under a force-field of mustard yellow wax – once I dug the cap out and start dumping, Fruet makes its dramatic appearance. Muddy garnet body and lightly carbonated. Aromatics are complex with heavy notes of sweet raisins and prunes and brown sugar. Bourbon comes through more in the flavor, but still is not overpowering. The sweetness is a bit much but it’s hard to not be mesmerized by the layers of dark fruit, bourbon, molasses and toffee.

Jan 01, 2014
Fruet from The Bruery
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 767 ratings