Bois | The Bruery

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BoisBois
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

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:
1,316
Avg:
4.31
pDev:
27.84%
 
 
Wants:
119
Gots:
545
For Trade:
98
User Reviews
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Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 1,316
Photo of kscaldef
3/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted as part of a horizontal of all 5 Bois treatments.

This one is again just hot, hot, hot. Dominated by booziness that overwhelms all other smells and flavors.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured something like a mahogany brown with auburn tips and had minor head and lace. First thing that hits me is the alcohol in aroma - didn't even get close to my nose and the booze is singing. Woody, oaky, "bourbony", it's a strong smell but not totally overpowering compared to smelling some real whiskey or scotch. There's also this roasted malt character with a touch of sweetness and dark fruits that I believe poke through. Very strong and hearty, designed to be slowly sipped and relaxed, and I must say that it's a dangerous sipper b/c the beer holds up with only exception being a slight ABV burn on the finish that is complimentary more than anything. I get some sweetness from the sticky, fuller body, like they put caramel and molasses or syrup in there to balance the woodiness of the aging and the alcohol. A touch of spice and a dash of dark fruit (black cherry or figs?) make there way in there as well. A really good beer to enjoy and a must try for anyone.

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Photo of dar482
4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours out in a mahogany caramel color that is murky, but also lets some light come through.

The aroma is huge raisins, tons of sweet molasses and caramel, dark fruit, vanilla, sherry, bourbon, but also that pop of booze in the back that uplifts it.

The flavor follows with that deep rich caramel sweetness. It's heavy on the rich deep dark raisins and fruit, but also on the back, there's that drying oak and alcohol that picks up the beer in a wonderful way. My friend actually compared this to port or madeira.

The body is pretty big and sticky, but I've had bigger and stickier barrel aged barley wines. The crazy thing is that the booze and oak drying on the back really picks up this beer to give a punch of drinkability. I really do like that about this beer, though it seems a lot like a beer that could use some aging.

I do think that Melange 3 was better because of the bigger silky feel and sweetness, but this is super enjoyable. Incredible beer.

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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 barczar
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big toffee aroma, very rich. Prune, raisin, and dates add complexity.

Very plum, prune, and raisin flavor, with nice sweet balance, a hit of heat, and rich caramel sweetness. Pretty hot, but delicious.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml wax capped bottle, 04/02/13 stamped on the bottle so I'll assume that's the bottling date. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a murky dark reddish/brown color with about a half inch tan head that didn't stick around for very long. Not much lacing, either. Aroma is sweet and malty, the brew smells like vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit (figs, plums, raisins), molasses, brown sugar and caramel. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some red grapes, maple and woodiness noticeable. It's a little boozy, but not as much I thought it would be. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and a bit syrupy with moderate carbonation. I thought this was pretty good. Is it $35 a bottle good, I'm not quite sure. But I did like this a lot!

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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 DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle split with my dad.

A dark brown, clear at first, with a dense, light brown head with decent retention and nice legs, this looks solid. The nose is great, as is usual for the series. Boozy caramel sweetness with vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit and brown sugar, this smells great. The palate opens full and sticky sweet with a big bourbon booziness, vanilla, mild oak tannins and fruit. Candied figs, prunes, brown sugar, jaggery are all present. Full in body with moderate carbonation, this beer has a long, sweet finish. Enjoyable.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark, opaque raison color with a tan colored head, light carbonation, and very viscous when the glass is swirled.

S - Maple, brown sugar, raisons, figs, oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark roasted caramel.

T - Very boozy and alcohol forward. Figs, raisons, oak, vanilla, dark roasted caramel, bourbon soaked prunes, maple, brown sugar, and a touch of sweet molasses.

M - Thick, full body, borderline light syrup texture, very sticky, velvety smooth, and moderate warming as it slides down the hatch.

O - Incredibly complex with layer after layer of complimentary flavors, so glad I sat on this bottle for (4) years before opening, the only downside is wishing I bought two and popped the first one when it was young for comparison.

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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 Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a now defunct Buckbean taster glass. Brown pour, almost no head on it. Aroma was nice and luxurious, we had this a day or two after we drank the American oak version, and this one let the bourbon come out a lot more than the former. Lots of that boozy cracker jack aroma going for it, quite delicious if you ask me.

Taste, strong, but delicate, it doesn't let the alcohol assault your mouth. Plenty of that caramel, more toffee this year than Fruet seemingly. They are quite similar. A little bit of vanilla and coconut. Dallop of brown sugar. Molasses-ish. Despite the ability to absorb the high alcohol content, it is not a viscous or heavy beer per se.

These anniversary beers from the Bruery are solid bets to keep being good and like this every year. The first couple were a little hot at first, but it seems Fruet and Bois were good to go, and the best ones yet. Kudos. Easily worth $30.

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

Notes taken on August 3rd at the Armsby Abbey.

A- A six ounce pour from the tap into a small tasting glass (the small Cantillon one actually). Dark brown body might as well be opaque with a tiny light brown ring of bubbles atop it. Some spotty lace but nothing significant and on par with other 15%+ beers I have had.

S- The dark fruit and barrel feel immediately brings me back to the few times I have had Black Tuesday. It has a huge syrupy old ale caramel feel right away, which I think is the signature of this style along with massive raisin, date, fig fruit notes. Inviting. When you add a great vanilla-oak-whiskey attribute from the barrels it becomes really inviting. Slight nutty and cocoa hints from the malts.

T- Just like the nose this beer is driven by a massive Old Ale aged caramel and raisin dark fruit feel. This is a huge beer. Slightly oxidized but what good Old Ale doesn't have some of those sherry aged hints. The bourbon oak barrels are blended in well and the vanilla from that makes this feel like a dessert in a way. Cocoa hints add to the complexity and are stronger than I usually get in Old Ales.

MF- Super oily and syrupy thick bodied with a nice moderate level of carbonation from the tap. Pretty damn hot from alcohol but the flavors are big enough to support the heat.

Great use of barrels in a true beast of beer. The base Old Ale is massive and contains all of the great things I look for in the style. A six ounce pour was perfect for this one.

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Photo of maximum12
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in Hudson, which I wouldn't have done, for $32. But Fruet was so damn good that I just couldn't resist. 750ML melee' weapon split with my wife, who did the actual shopping & picking up of the now open bottle.

Pour clocks in at a ruddy, sunburnt brown, with a touch more carbonation than expected, like a Coke that's been open for a half-hour. The nose leans on the indescribable. Looming bourbon notes, thick caramel, & heavy vanilla dominate, but there are dark fruits muddled in underneath. Oh, & the alcohol sting. My eyes are watering already.

Bois is a boozy Ali jab to the palate, after which it kicks you in the lungs. Wow. Alcohol is prime-time, leaving a warm, fuzzy trail from my tongue all the way into my intestines. Beyond that is a beer fairly different that the smell. The barrel is still big & bad, but close behind is a flair of mission figs, dates, plums, & all that jazz. A wave of boozy caramel washes the mid-section clean, before the alcohol & mouthfeel seize the finish. The mouth on this is notable: sticky & cloying to the point of Elmer's. Nonetheless, my curiosity to see where all this is going has lead me to devour this too quickly.

High point here is a sterling tasting experience, but it doesn't quite live up to my lofty expectations. Very interesting, very good, but not the powerhouse that some of the Bruery's big beers are. I would have run out for more Fruet were I able; this one, I'll be able to leave on the shelves. Still. Wouldn't turn one down. Ever.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.23/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a nosing glass. From notes. Reviewed 31 January 2015.

3.5A: Muddy light brown.

3.5S: Burnt brown sugar.

3T: Whoah that's harsh and bright and not very to my taste. Hint of tartness at the edges.

3.25M: A little thin. Vaguely sparkly but not too much.

3.25O: It's fine but not good. Would not recommend.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hops and Pie. Nice orange color, small head at first, then it's gone. Aroma is a bit if booze. Flavor is a delicious bourbon barrel barley wine, rich, great bourbon flavors, sweet but then it gets a little too sugary. This was really tasty but it's so sweet and so strong that I can't imagine drinking a whole glass of this.

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Photo of Resuin
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. This was bottled 04/11/13 which is about 3 months ago as of this review.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, cola, nearly black color and leaves about a finger of off-white/light tan head.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, plums, figs, a hint of cherry. Very, very big, sharp, sweet aroma.

Taste: A smack of vanilla, sweet bourbon hits first, followed by some cocoa, lightly roasted malts, and dark fruits (plums, figs, raisins). Lots of very sweet flavors. Finishes with some nice, sweet bourbon and a touch of heat. Alcohol is well masked by all the flavors and sweetness.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a medium to heavy, creamy body. Finishes very smooth.

Overall: This is a huge beer - lots of intensely sweet flavors coming together very nicely to give this one its massive profile. The bourbon and vanilla flavors take center stage in a great way. This is a very nice desert-type beer, one to sip and savor.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Doug for breaking out this bottle - much appreciated! Bois pours a thick and deep, syrupy brown color that's only translucent up near the top of the brew, right below the head. The cap is light-tan in color and plumps up nicely before it breaks down into a swampy film and collar on the top of the viscous brew. Pretty much what you'd expect from a super high gravity old ale.

Sticky caramel, sweet molasses, brown sugar, and a heavy, heavy booziness that flows in and out of your nostrils, from one side of the other. This beer smells big. It smells big and sweet... and that's because it *is* big and sweet. Mild hints of vanilla and plenty of sweet dark fruits creep out, rounding out what is quite a large and robust aroma.

I take one sip and my palate is immediately coated with a warm, boozy, and sticky lathering of caramel, toffee, and sweet, plum and raisin preserves. The booze is ever-present and a touch more than warming, almost crossing over into "hot" territory. I will say, though, that the intense booziness sure helps to cut the equally intense malt sweetness that Bois is made of.

The afterthought is still loaded with finishing sweetness; toffee and caramelized sugars, with fading touches of sweet plums and raisins as an nutty and oaky kiss of death swoops in and leaves your palate feeling like you just made out with a stave covered in brown sugar. The body is thick and plump like Anna Nicole Smith yet still sexy smooth like Cameron Diaz's first appearance in "The Mask".

I still struggle with the question of "why does The Bruery choose to bottle their borderline hard alcohol level beers in gigantic ass bottles," as this would be another solid choice for twelve ouncers or even nips. It'll take you a while to trounce through six ounces even, but it'll be very tasty and decadent along the way. A very nice old ale that's as robust on the palate as it sounds on paper... or, excuse me, papier.

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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 cosmicevan
4.84/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle picked up locally. enjoyed from a bruery snifter.

a - wow...that's SOME wax. spent a good 5 minutes working it off...but worth the effort. beer poured dark purple brown with a nice foamy almost belgian looking head that left a thick skin that hung out. glistens.

s - ZING! smells perfect. deep rich complex dark fruit and leather. booze soaked wood. candied sweetness. these anniversary beers really make me appreciate old ales. really tows the line of strong ale.

t - oh my. the flavor exceeds the awesomeness of the nose. this beer is flat out perfect. deep dark plums grapes figs, perfectly ripe...no maybe just teetering on overripe and juicy. thick and rich.

m - lush. abv is masked magically

o - this is a masterpiece. big and bold and makes no apologies. reminds me of BA 2TD or even Bells BA Batch 9k.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.03/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a tulip. From notes.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color. There's a one finger khaki head that retains horribly - in other words, par for the course from a 15% monster. No lacing is left behind, either.

S: Very intense, mostly in a good way. The vanilla is huge, the bourbon is huge, the oaky notes are huge, and the dark fruits are huge. I even get some faint coconut touches. On the first whiffs, the booze is very intense, only to calm down as it warms up. My subconscious tells me the actual flavor is going to be WAY too sweet, but even still, this aroma works well.

T: Dark fruits open this one up in a big way. It doesn't take long, however, to realize just how fuckin' sweet this one is. Holy shit, this is like drinking bourbon spiked with brown sugar - about six tbsp's worth, to be precise. The finish tries to negate all dat sugar with some oaky and bourbon-y notes; it's not particularly successful. All it really does is inject a bit of unnecessary harshness into the massively cloying beer without really balancing it out. On the plus side, it *does* become slightly less harsh as more is imbibed. That does NOT make all the ridiculous sweetness any more palatable: it's far too moronic and out-of-wack throughout. It's not even that complex, either.

M: This practically burns going down. Cripes on a stick, this one feels rough. It's too carbonated, too thin, and too sweet all at the same time. It seems like The Bruery was trying to give this good drinkability for the style, and they honestly succeeded - but at what cost? The slender feel clashes badly with the incredible sweetness, so it's not like it's that drinkable.

O: When I sip this, I'm seriously contemplating dumping it - it's that overwhelming. This is a textbook example of a beer that's over-the-top big in all the wrong ways. A big beer that's structured well can be a beautiful thing (see: Black Albert), and this just isn't. It's not HORRIBLE per se, just hugely disappointing for over $30 (!) a bottle. Emperor Bois, you have no clothes, plain and simple.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is loaded with bourbon, toffee, caramel, hints of oak, leather and burnt sugar. Flavour profile matches with heavy bourbon, toffee and caramel. Sweetness is nicely balanced with the slightest ABV heat, but given the strength it's incredibly well hidden. A celebratory brew indeed and well worth a try.

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

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a dark caramel burgundy color with a thin finger of dark tan head. Head faded into a lasting fuzzy collar.
S: Tons of leather and still a ton bourbon despite the age. Tobacco and chocolate are prominent as well. Oxidization and/or the older components of the beer are noticeable with hints of musty cardboard and sweet sherry. Sweet smelling overall, raisins, honey, brown sugar, boozy.
T: Follows the nose, boozy leather, caramel and tobacco, sweet sugar, musty cardboard and oak, boozy slightly warming bourbon, tons of chocolate, warming leather and tobacco and booze. Lingering sweet and sticky aftertaste. Earthy and mildly spicy finish.
M: Full body, sticky, chewy, slick and heavy mouthfeel and body, bubbly but unobtrusive carbonation, booze is noticeable but not hot.
O: Really good. Tons of chocolate leather and leafy tobacco. Very smooth but still boozy. A great and easy sipper.

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Photo of Dope
3.89/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice mahogany with a decent sized but fizzy light light brown head. Head fizzes away fast, almost soda-like. Decent retention but zero lacing.

S: Huge, huge, huge sickly sweet caramel. Toffee and boozy raisins. Sharp, stinging alcohol when swirled. Basically a bourbon and sherry combo at first glance.

T: Super sweet caramel and toffee up front. I can't overstate how sweet this is. I have had some seriously sweet beers in my day, I can practically mainline creme brulee but this is over the top. It's like caramel syrup with some toffee and molasses. Heavy, heavy on the rum soaked raisins. Burnt sugars in there too. In the finish, very drying oak and alcohol in the aftertaste sucks all of the moisture out of your mouth.

M: Heavy, heavy, cloyingly sweet and syrupy.

O: I've had Cuir, Fruet and now Bois. I loved the first two but this one just isn't hitting me right. I just re-read my review on Fruet and I mentioned at how well the 15% ABV was hidden. This beer is the opposite, it's a booze bomb. It's honestly hard to drink, a sipper for sure. It's still good, don't get me wrong, it's just that the booze and the sweetness overpowers everything in this beer. I might not be in the right mood for this one tonight, that's all I can think. Luckily I have a bottle of the rye version of this to try another day, maybe I will be ready for that one.

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Photo of Gmann
3.96/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with a slight reddish hue. The head is short and dense and settles into a light ring.

The aroma is sweet. Big vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and caramel notes. There is a boozy tart cherry aroma.

The taste is of a brown bread malt. Plenty of sweetness to go around. There is a big dark berry sweetness that is quite noticeable. It's a bit tart as well. Caramel and subtle bourbon, some vanilla. Cherry? Lots of booze could use more of an earthy malt presence. Little too sweet.

The feel is moderate with semi soft carbonation. Quite sweet and boozy on the palate. Sticky in the finish. Slight belly burn.

A good but not great big beer. A little one dimensional.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into wine glass at Torst in Brooklyn. $10 for 5oz...well worth it!
Pours a deep brown with the slightest lacing/rim of foam.
Aroma is fantastic! Dried fruit, wood, booze, vanilla...huuge
Taste is nothing short of spectacular. Sweet dried fruit, vanilla, tobacco, sweet bourbon...wow. All are just so dominant that they blend so well. So much flavor is going on here. The booze is sharp but works well with all of this flavor. It doesn't feel like its 15%.
This is quite possibly the best old ale ive ever had. Truly amazing!

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Bois from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.
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