Bois | The Bruery

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BoisBois
BEER INFO

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The traditional fifth anniversary gift is something made of wood, or "Bois" in French.

Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year's production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.

Added by OBeerMeGreatOne on 05-14-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
150
Ratings:
1,317
Avg:
4.31
pDev:
9.28%
 
 
Wants:
119
Gots:
548
For Trade:
100
User Reviews
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Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 1,317
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 1.27.14

A - Pours a amber-cola brown with a tan head that slowly moves to the edges.

S - Caramel, bourbon, toffee, vanilla, burnt sugar.

T - Same as the nose, but sweet and lots of heat in the finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavy, super sweet body.

O - Nice toffee-caramel, but awfully sweet and hot. This will be epic in a few years.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 15,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled and split between a wine glass and a snifter.
# 0067 pt 5 04/04/2013 stamped on the bottle.

Thanks to futura123 for this bottle.

Appearance: I am always surprised at the size of the head on the beers in this series and Bois is no exception with a rough pour yielding a massive cream coloured head. The head retention is good, but there is nothing in the way of lacing.
The beer settles a medium brown (fairly cloudy) in the glass, with a back light revealing a deep red colour and bright golden edges and a swirl results in fantastically heavy alcohol legs.

Smell: The initial nose seems a little lighter (as in not dark) and sweeter (is that possible?) than I remember from previous anniversary releases, with a ton of sweet perfumed vanilla, sweet buttery caramel and a little booze all present at the outset. As the nose begins to open up, a sweet fruity character emerges (cherries, golden raisins, figs and prune) alongside toasted malt, an earthy note, a little oxidization (the pleasant kind), treacle sugar, and a light nuttiness.

Taste: As the nose suggested, this is pretty damned sweet but thankfully it stops just shy of being too much and I don’t foresee any problems crushing the entire bottle! Notes include: Sweet vanilla, a touch of oxidization, sweet buttery caramel, butterscotch, toasted malt, treacle sugar, a hint of oak and a rich Christmas pudding like fruitiness. There is some booze noted, but less then I would expect from 15%.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation here is a little higher than I remember in the previous varieties, but the level settles down pretty quickly and becomes fantastically creamy. The body is full, chewy and wonderfully sticky.

Overall: Another fantastic anniversary beer from the brewery, however it is probably my least favourite of the 100% Bourbon editions I have had (Cuir and Fruet).

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared with Beastmaster that I brought back from my visit to the tasting room! Pours murky reddish brown with a one finger caramel khaki colored head. Huge huge aroma of caramel, toffee, vanilla, figs, oak, brown sugar, bourbon. Lordy this smells amazing. Flavor is big oaky toffee up front with some nutty pecan flavor like pecan pie with bourbon poured on top. Finishes with a beautiful lingering vanilla caramel marshmallow. Wow this is amazing and a flavor profile I haven’t had since BB4D. Medium heavy body, honestly way lighter than I expected as Bruery beers tend to get syrupy. But, this is nice with the perfect amount of carbonation to keep this surprisingly drinkable. This is a real masterpiece of an Old Ale. Malt and caramel and vanilla galore. Oooh yeah.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml waxed bottle poured into tulip 12/1/14

A looks like cola, big tan head fizzes out quickly leaving zero lace, some fat legs and enough bubbles to give it a slow boil look
second pour has some foam with retention, my glass must have been dirty, still no lace

S big notes of vanilla, toffee, bourbon, wood, some port, a little chocolate, brown sugar covered raisins, some booze but I'd never guess its as strong as it is, faint smoke, more vanilla and bourbon

T heavy bourbon with the booze included, woody, a little spice I didn't smell, some booze soaked plum, not to far from the smell but I preferred the nose

M fairly full, hot and numbing, some tannins, not flat but low carbonation, a little slimy well after the fact, hits my chest just before the brain, a little sticky on my lips,woody bourbon sticks around to savor

O bourbon forward beer no doubt, big for sure and it drinks like a bad-ass, hot, woody, and intense all-around

This brew will be young in 5 years, world class stuff down the road but pretty tasty today, I can't say its worth 46$ but I just had to try it and will need to flip a coin to decide if I grab one to age or not.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter, shared with two other friends

A- Pours a dark dark brown color, cloudy, cannot see through it. Not a very attractive beer looks like dark poopy water. Thin light brown lacing around the glass.
S- The aroma is very nice. Bourbon upfront, nice vanilla notes, brown sugar. The bourbon takes over this beer. Really looking forward to trying this.
T- Wow delicious! Big big vanilla buttery bourbon goodness. Very rich, this is definitely a beer you need to share with others. The abv comes out strong as it warms up. Brown sugar, toffee, sweet malt.
M- Big mouthfeel, leaves a sticky feeling in your mouth, dry finish. Nice heat in the backend.
O- Really enjoyed this beer. Great dessert beer, could not of drank this on my own. Glad to have shared this with a couple of friends.

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Photo of N_Schleret
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a 1 finger head that dissipates to a thin ring. Blotchy lacing. Looks like Coca-Cola.
S: Bourbon up front. Toffee/caramel, and vanilla notes follow.
T: Bourbon up front. Extremely sweet with toffee, caramel, and vanilla. Alcohol is noticeable but easy to drink with the high ABV.
M: Fills the palate. Dry and sticky.
O: ABV becomes more present as it warms up. Lots going on with this beer, very complex.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml matte gold wax enclosed bottle, one recently arrived, and under dire circumstances, it would seem, to Alberta. #welcometoABWinterBitches

This beer pours a hazy, very dark red-brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, silkily foamy, and somewhat bubbly pale tan head, which leaves nothing beyond a few random specks of lace near the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of concentrated caramel and toffee pudding, with a certain flor-heavy fortified red wine yeastiness, besotted French oak staves, a prune, dried cherry, and raisin fruitiness, melted brown sugar, rather hot, nose and upper palate crinkling boozy Bourbon, citrus cream, and a certain old musty basement essence. The taste is big and sweet, the heady toffee and caramel gaining a bit of a watery treacle co-conspirator, followed closely by more dark fruits, now muddled and wine-like in their bearing, cold, reduced demarara sugar, soft cognac and Bourbon barrel notes - vanilla and alcohol, mostly - a weirdly ethereal yeasty essence, some mild milky cocoa, and a further isolated wood grain alcohol that seems to pop up at random intervals.

The carbonation is quite understated, and damned near absent at times, almost to the point of inspiring a Trent Reznor ode, the body a dense medium-heavy weight, and actually quite incredibly smooth, very little else putting up their dukes here, once gain, incredulously. It finishes sweet, sure, and more than a tad boozy, but it all seems well restrained, controlled via nods of the head and ancient scripts.

Wow, I had my doubts, but this 5 Year anniversary offering from the Bruery (would, normally, would be so trite in such situations, but here it is, so very worthy!) delivers, even at this early juncture. Maybe not the most complex old ale out there, but it has more than enough 'old' character to back up this pedigree, amongst a stellar bourbon and wine-adjacent woodiness that brings us full circle, of a sort. And maybe I could complain about the generally AWOL bubbles situation, but meh, did I not already mention what style of beer this was?

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Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a semi-murky medium brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Lots of caramel, toffee and sherry-like sweetness. Booze fume is quite noticeable but not too intense.

T- Very sweet with more toffee and some dark fruit. The sweetness lingers quite a bit but helps mask the booze. Has the usual intense sugary malt found in the other anniversary ales but this one's a bit more toned down than Cuir and Fruet. A bit of oak, vanilla and a ton of raisin. Drinkable enough for how strong it is.

M- Syrupy and a bit thick. There's a slight burn in the back of the throat after each sip. Medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Might've been plucked a bit too soon since the sweetness and alcohol are both a bit too amplified, but still quite good nonetheless.

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Photo of zac16125
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle into a snifter
bottled on: 4/10/13

A: Pours an opaque dark mahogany with just under 1 fingers width of tan colored head. Head dissipates down fairly quickly. Leaves absolutely zero lacing but some alcohol legs are noticable.

S: Aroma is huge, I can literally smells this beer as it sits 3 feet away from me on the table. Tons of sweetness, candied sugar, caramel and toffee. I also get a moderate about of booze, along with bourbon and oaky-vanilla from the barrel. Hints of vinous dark fruits and cocoa complete the aromatic profile. Very complex and quite frankly, wonderful.

T: The initial sip is vinous dark fruits up front, followed by candied sugar and toffee on the finish. Its very sweet, but thats balanced by a significant booziness. I generally am a fan of big boozy beers, but this may be a little much even for me. Lots of ethanol booze, as well as a significant amount of heat going down, which combine to detract from the other flavors in the palate profille. It somewhat mellows out as my palate adjusts. I then get some bitterness, subtle bakers chocolate, and oaky bourbon.

M/D: Pretty harsh at first, as it has a prominent burn going down. I actually haven't had a beer with this much heat in a long time, and I am quite surprised by this because Ive have many other high ABV Bruery beers and have generally found that they are one of the best at masking the huge ABVs. It does mellow out as I make my way through the drink. Its full bodied, and rather syrupy. Even for the ABV and style, drinkability is only fair. It does smooth out as it warms though, and gives a nice full bodied warming sensation on this cold night.

O: I love Old Ales, they are one of my favorite styles. This one was very good, but not exceptional. A bit harsh right now, but I suspect with time this one will only get better. Its hard to compare beers I drank over a year apart, but if my memory serves me right I prefer Fruet to this one. I look forward to doing an Anniversary vertical one day to compare side by side.

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Photo of Zorro
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Chill hazed brown colored ale with a minor tan colored head formation.

Boozy and fruity from the moment you pop the cap. Scents of whiskey and berries with some caramel and chocolate and toffee scents. Distinct black pepper scent. Vanilla is quite strong with this beer. Very complex scent I am sure I missed 6 or so subtle scents.

Starts out boozy with a noticeable alcohol sting and a notable chest warmth, with an unanticipated peach after taste. Strong whiskey flavor mostly vanilla and caramel. medium sweet this has flavors of oak and cork in it. Peach and apple flavors this beer never tastes quite the same between sips. Not very spicy all I am picking up is black pepper. Mild tongue anesthesia from the ABV this beer really packs a punch. After a bit the more earth flavors show up, mushroom and musk with just a touch of pine bark. Certainly a flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall a very tasty beer that is probably wasted on a 16 1/2 hour workday mind. Still this certainly is one of the best beers out there in Pliny The Younger and Abacus levels of greatness. This cost me $30 and I did not get cheated out of my money, it is worth it.

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Photo of sjones5045
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours darker and hazier than a traditional old ale. Looks like a dark cider. Luckily the appearance is the only down side to this beer.

Decided to open early to see if it's something that I want to buy again and age. Bottle says to age for a decade. The smell is a very oak boozy whiskey. Very strong.

The taste is very good. The heat is strong from the booze but overall it's a nice smooth feel with all that booze that will only get better with age. I felt like certain taste were trying to come through but the oak and whiskey overpowered. Again, with some serious aging this beer can only get better.

Overall, I really liked this beer early in it life that I will definitely get a few to age for years.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This old ale pours a cloudy cola colored amber. The tan colored head fades quickly to a thin collar. The scent is a wonderful bouquet of vanilla, molasses, raisins and plum. I expected a more pronounced alcohol scent, but there is really none that I perceive as unpleasant. Very expressive sugar scent that gives the impression of a well aged and complex rum.

The taste is equally enjoyable, beginning with a pleasing burnt sugar flavor that progresses to a spiced vanilla and woody complexity that is very enjoyable and shows the full character of the bourbon barrell aging. Everyypthing comes together so well it makes me wonder how any old ale could be produced without barrell aging. They seem so well meant for one another.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a more expressive and fuller carbonation than I had initially expected. The finish is well balanced and refrains from being cloyingly sweet with a nice warming character without the burning sensation you may have with such a high alcohol content.

Highly recommended, but carries a very high price. I'm glad I purchased two bottles as I'm looking forward to seeing where the beer goes and develops with time.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz bottle poured into a snifter. 04/11/13 on the bottle.

A: Pours a clearish dark brown ruby appearing almost black in the glass. An off white head sits on top, dissipating in a minute or two. Leaves some spots of lacing on the glass.

S: Initial bourbon right off the bat with a sweet dark fruitiness as well. A bit of breadiness as well as toffee or carmel. Yeast adds almost a belgian dubbel sort of aroma.

T: What a finely tuned blend here. There is the obvious bourbon flavoring but layers upon layers of complexity behind that. Great dark fruit character that gives you a raisiny, grape or fig quality. Sweet malts that provide rich carmel, toffee and vanilla. Oak mellows out the flavor, bourbon adds the perfect aftertaste.

M: Full body with a great creamy mouthfeel. Bourbon doesnt come across too hot but is certainly warming. Very smooth for 15%. Mild carbonation, finish is clean considering all the sweetness going on here.

Overall I wish I had more of this beer. Really tasty and only going to get better with age. As I said this one has layers of flavor that are blended fantastically. Cheers to many more Bruery anniversaries!

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Photo of FosterJM
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1772nd Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
750ml
App- A very cloudy ruddy brown/red with high density. Not a head per se but some khaki bubbles. Decent stick as it slid down the glass.

Smell- Has a lot of malty sweet notes behind it. This was better than Fruet Got more of the Solera method down. Creamy raisins and vanilla without a trace of the booze. Has more of the oak/vanilla I wanted.

Taste- Still a bit young and fresh but incredibly drinkable. The ABV is completely hidden on this one. The flavor profile is more of a old ale again as well. Still a little bit of caramel with a large dark fruits note with zero burn. At cellar temp was quite easy to take down alone.

Mouth- A large medium body with a medium thick carbonation at points. Fruity residual with a touch of cream on it.

Drink- Its very tasty. I didnt like it as much as Fruet and I believe this one was good to go right from the start.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky brown color along with a small soapy-foamy beige head that left a touch of lacing throughout. The aroma was intensely boozy with prominent alcohol head radiating from it and elements of molasses, caramel, wood, and a vanilla-coconut combination. The flavor was bourbon, vanilla, toffee, caramel, coconut, and dark fruits - very boozy which made me wish I let this bottle sit for awhile. Long finish of toffee, dark fruits, caramel and coconut. Medium mouthfeel with decent carbonation. I have the Bois variants (brandy, bourbon, and rye) so I am quite excited to try these out, however, I am going to let those bottles sit until later this year to let off some of the heat I experienced from this base beer.

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Photo of tmzl
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: very dark amber. Poured with thick, surprisingly big head with even bubbles. Fast retention. Low carbonation. Very nice, promising, inviting.

Smell: Can't miss the big brandy notes. Then come the fruity ones - raisins, deep dark fruits. Reminds me of raisins in rum. Lots of sweet caramel malt with some smokey notes. There is a slight alcohol note. And there comes a very nice subtle sour, tart aroma - lifts up the whole experience.

Taste: Porto, plum wine, dates. Huge malt, middle a lot of caramel, smokey, burnt wood/sugar. Low on bitterness, but very nice sour after-mid taste. Also some funk in there. Rich and complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full body, low carbonation. Very smooth, plate fullness, syrupy. There is some warming effect from high alcohol content, but overall the high alcohol is very well hidden. Leaves you slightly dry.

Overall: Rich and complex, very strong with a lot to offer, yet balanced and rewarding. I'm thinking to buy a bottle and let it rest for a few years, a little age can probably take this beer even higher.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance - Dark and murky reddish brown. Not much of a head. Nothing after a while.

Smell - Bourbon, toffee, buckets of caramel. Quite fruity.

Taste - Sweet and bourbony. Even fruitier. Toffee and caramel. Boozy. Even a little bitter. Maybe that's just an abundance of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - A sipper. Boozy as hell. Medium heavy, not as syrupy as I thought it might be.

Overall - Way over the top, but good. I always like these beers.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

a - 4 - it's a good looking beer, not as amazing as I thought though. Very nice dark brown mahogony color, no head (abv high).
s - 4.75 - Smokey, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, coconut, kind of like a bonfire.
T - 4.75 - HUGE sweet bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, just amazing, like a syrupy butterscotch smokey oak awesomeness.
M - 4.75 - Alc incredibly well covered for the 15%. Aftertaste is sweet caramel, toffee, vanilla, leaves a nice syrupy feel. Medium-heavy mouth feel.
O - 4.75 - GREAT old ale. I love this one. It's one of those kinds of beers that you just can't compare to anything else. It's in the same league as double dba but I couldn't compare the two. they're both too good for that.

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Photo of HookemHoos
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ML Bottle which was shared among many in snifter glasses

A: Poured a dark brown redish color with a minimal amount of carbonation and thin head.

S: The smell was of bourbon (tons of it), vanilla and sugar.

T: Following the smell, the taste gave you a ton of bourbon with notes of vanilla and sugar to follow. There was a smaller amount of fruit notes.

O: It was a very enjoyable beer but in small quantities. I don't know that I could handle anything more than a shared amount.

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Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle purchased at Ramirez Liquor in Los Angeles, poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: If your beer is going to have a weak point, best to have it in the most inconsequential category. A cloudy, thick brown liquid which coats the inside of the glass. Minimal head, nothing spectacular to look at.

Smell: Smooth yet powerful aroma assaults you as soon as your nose nears the glass. WOW. Tons of brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, and alcohol. The scent is a beautiful invitation to drink, as it should be.

Taste: Delicious. Like a massive English Barleywine. MORE bourbon, caramel-sugar sweetness. Some light dry fruit is present, but the alcohol cuts low through the whole affair. As it warms everything is fuller, the ABV is more in your face with each rising degree.

Mouthfeel: Thick and luscious, slight carbonation.

Overall: Having not tried the previous 4 Bruery anniversary beers, I can't speak to how this compares; purely on it's own, this beer is fantastic. The taste is wonderfully complex, and the alcohol packs a wallop, as evidenced by my having stopped and started this review several times over the course of an hour. Excited to buy and age a few more of these to see how they smooth out. Definitely worth the high price tag if you can find it.

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Photo of mmapes
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The most I've paid for a bottle, but purchased because it's supposed to beat Old Stock from North Coast -- a personal favorite. Pours cloudy, dirty. Basically no head. It's kinda ugly.

Scent is wood, then alcohol, then maybe some dark dried fruit.

Sweet first, fruity, syrupy, maybe a little cloying. Very sweet on second thought, with a long oaky finish mellows the syrupy start. It's 15% ABV which is very high, but it doesn't taste hot -- the sweetness hides it perhaps. Velvety, carmely. Old stock is sharper than this. The more I sip it the more I like it -- the complexity comes out after the initial sweet shock.

Very expensive -- $34 after tax for a 750ml. But I would consider buying some more for the cellar. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this large bomber bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a brownish hue with amber highlights and a tan head that lasts forever ending in a wispy lace and not trail.

S: Syrup malt aroma with some oak and dark fruit scents.

T: Strong alcoholic burn with a malty syrup flavor and complex dark fruity flavor.

M: Heavy body and medium carbonation

O: Great brew – lots of complex flavors and aromas.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 2 finger frothy cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a dark, almost opaque brown. Lacing is thick but sticks close to the head. Oily legs. Real nice.

Nose is sweet booze. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel and oak. Deep and enticing.

Opens molasses, honey, dark plum and prunes. Brown sugar, leather and booze in the middle. Oak, caramel, toffee, and more molasses at the finish. Ends sweet and hot with a sweet, caramel and molasses aftertaste. Solid.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and goes down hot and sticky. Finishes messy with a lingering aftertaste that coats the mouth. A touch thin.

Pretty par for the course for a Bruery Anniversary big. Big and bold with accented sweet flavors. Pretty straightforward but still enjoyable.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I sort of yawned through the last couple bourbon barrel beers I tried. Can one from The Bruery continue with this trend? I sure hope not. Let's find out.

The Bruery Bois, (pronounced: "Bwah")Anno 2013 Anniversary, 100% Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels. CONTAINS ALCOHOL. (Good to know.) The Bruery, Placentia, CA. Orange County, CA. Alc. 15% by Vol. (Eeep!) And a lot of teeny, teeny type. I'll try to read it later.

We have a murky magenta look here, muddy, dusky brown that nears purplish. Slim tan head that slips down swiftly.

Let's smell it, already. Whiskey wakes you right up with this one. But there's lots of complexity below. Much richness. Vanilla and cherry, with cocoa tints and some molasses. Sweetness, a whiff of smoke, plenty of wood character, and a ton of balance. Starts intense and forceful, but begins to mellow in the mouth.

Let's taste this sucker: Big-time bourbon flavoring in this massive ale. Here'a a beer that needs a water back. Large showing of fig, date, raisin, other dark fruits. Fullest body, low bitterness, moderate sweetness, woody character. Some charcoal,

"This sturdy beer marks our fifth anniversary and we are grateful for the outpouring of community. Together may our supporters, our brewery, and this beer grow in complexity and refinement over the years."

Lovely sentiment, but that didn't tell me all that much. The back label copy doesn't deliver on the details, either, except that it calls it an "old ale." Well, there's something. One big-ass, bourbon-y old ale. Yum-alicious, I says.

This one does buck that trend, as there is great flavor and complexity beyond the effects of the barrel.

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Photo of ms11781
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque, muddy brown color with some lighter brown/orange tinges at the sides of the glass. Once the beer gets to the bottom of the glass it becomes transparent so perhaps this isn't as opaque as it looked. But a second pour confirms that it is indeed opaque when the glass is full (relatively speaking). A strong pour shows that there is light carbonation but there is no head or lacing to speak of, as expected. Looks pretty good for the style.

The nose is excellent. There's a good hit of bourbon up front with some vanilla prominent as well. Those two aromas come across first but there is a lot more going on. Caramel, toffee, some wood and a bit of coconut are here as well. It gets sweeter as it warms but it wasn't all that cold to begin with. Really nice.

The flavors match the aromas but they are far more balanced. Not that the aroma wasn't balanced but the bourbon and vanilla are here and don't dominate the other flavors as much. Really well integrated notes of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, caramel and a bit more wood than in the nose. All here in almost equal parts. There is a touch of booze at the finish but it's expected and welcome.

This beer is huge. Thick but not viscous with low carbonation. Pretty standard for a 15% ABV barrel-aged old ale. Compliments the nose and taste nicely. Touch of a booze burn at the finish.

This beer is excellent. Flavors are already well integrated, nose is almost there. There's nothing wrong with it now but if a couple years smooths it out a touch this beer will be right up with the very best of style.

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Bois from The Bruery
4.31 out of 5 based on 1,317 ratings.
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