Bois - Brandy Barrel-Aged
The Bruery

Bois - Brandy Barrel-AgedBois - Brandy Barrel-Aged
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English Old Ale
4.35 | pDev: 7.59%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bois - Brandy Barrel-AgedBois - Brandy Barrel-Aged
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 264 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/17/2013. Wax got a bit brittle. Pours fairly hazy very dark ruby red/brown color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big raisin, plum, prune, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, orange zest, currant, red grape, brandy, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, oak, brown bread, toasted biscuit, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, chocolate, cocoa, sherry, leather, tobacco, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Touch of booze as it warms; a bit too fruity/yeasty aromas, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and brandy barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, prune, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, orange zest, currant, red grape, brandy, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, oak, brown bread, toasted biscuit, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, chocolate, cocoa, sherry, leather, tobacco, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Mild herbal/floral/grassy/roast bitterness and brandy/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark fruits, cherry, apricot, red apple, orange zest, currant, red grape, brandy, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, oak, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, molasses, light licorice/leather/tobacco, herbal, floral, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and brandy barrel flavors; with solid malt/bitterness and brandy/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitterness and brandy/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and very full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety, and slightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic. Mildly increasing warmth of 15%, with no barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing brandy barrel aged old ale! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and brandy barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Amazing balance of fruity yeast and rich malts; with perfect brandy barrel integration. Minimal booze/tannins. Not overly sweet/heavy for the ABV. The brandy flavors complement the yeast profile perfectly as would be expected. A highly enjoyable offering, and amazing style example as expected of the base beer. These always age wonderfully after multiple years.

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Photo of bgold86
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep murky brown, big dark dried fruits (dates & raisins in particular) on the nose, caramel, toffee, vanilla as well. Big brandy right up front on the taste, but in a mature not too sweet kind of way, finishes smooth with hints of vanilla and caramel. At almost four years old, this has held up extremely well, and dare I say improved. Bodes very well for the others in set I have sitting in the cellar.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 4/17/13; drank 8/8/15 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Murky brown/purple appearance.

Minimal khaki head; minimal lace.

Brandy, raisin, caramel & booze heat notes in the nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Rich raisin, caramel & oak flavors; booze heat emerged as this warmed. Sweet caramel settled on my lips over the course of the session. Pretty much everything you could ask for from an Old Ale.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a gigantic snifter to a deep brown beer that is topped by a finger and a half of dense tan head that fades to a collar around the edge of the glass with some lacing.
S: Smells of brandy, dark fruits, toffee, and a little booze
T: Taste is brandy, a little wood, dark fruits, and toffee. The booze is well hidden and some nice grape notes come in at times as well. The swallow on this one is more brandy and wood, grapes, dark fruit and toffee.
M: This beer is full and silky in the mouth with soft but adequate carbonation and a dry finish from the ABV.
O: Overall this beer is incredible. It's extremely drinkable for the ABV and the brandy barrel aging is a really nice twist on things that really complements the base beer. It would be nice for them to re-do this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky, mahogany body with a thin khaki hued collar. Aroma of sweet wine, port, brandy, oak. Similar flavor. Soft carbonation. High alcohol throughout. Sweet. Tasty, though best in small doses.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally get to crack this one open! 2013 Anniversary bottle. Pours with exceptional carbonation but head dissipates fairly quickly. I suspect that age has done its damage to the barrel as the brandy is subtle at this point; however, at 15% ABV it is a sipper nonetheless.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Barrel-aging perfection.
So much delicious brandy mixes with the base of their anniversary beer with its caramel, toffee and vanilla notes. The brandy isn't too boozy but this is a slow sipper to be enjoyed on a special occasion. One of my favorites. A great body that appears like a candy-like old ale/barley wine and big whifs of brandy and sugars till the end. Semi-sweet with smooth texture. Much easier to drink than the regular Bois or Sucre.

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Photo of MattVerbin
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Loved this iteration of the Anniversary series and would love the Bruery to do more with Brandy. Huge fan of how everything blended together for a unique flavor that I thought was even better than the standard Bourbon barrel aged Bois. Lost Abbey's Deliverance beer (only partially aged in Brandy) had been my favorite Brandy barrel aged beer to date until now. Would pick up more of this in a heartbeat.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Similar appearance to the rest, thick dark brown. The barrel treatment really shines here. It's sweet and fruity; the standout of the set and the only one I could imagine opening a bottle at home to split with my wife.

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Photo of DVMin98
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer hits every right spot for me. Perfect carbonation, perfect amount of barrel, not too boozy. Great brandy flavor. Super apple-y. This was my 1457th beer and perhaps one of my top ten ever. I hope they release more of this in their archive sales. I will buy all I can.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.89/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

- 4oz. pour from 750mL bottle into tasting glass @ the tasting room (Placentia, CA) on 20-Feb-15

Too sweet, cloying. Also a bit undercarbed. Wish I tried this fresh because I'm guessing its downhill from here, due to the reviews I've read. I'm conflicted about given this a rating because of this.

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Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

From a bottle, pours a dark mahogany brown with ruby red hues; decent head with good retention.

Nose is sweet, molasses, sugar, with some citrus notes and of course, lots of brandy and oak. It smells like this is another booze bomb from The Bruery. The flavors are sweet, candied green apples, brandy and oak notes, dark fruit, a little cocoa. It's warm down the throat, still way too boozy for me at 15%. If it dried out a little, it would be delicious.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 4.19.14

A - Pours a dark amber brown with red bright hilights, a fizzy tan head forms that is gone fast.

S - Swwet candy, brandy, oak, caramel.

T - Swwet caramel, brandy, vanilla, oak. Very good.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Sweet, but an amazing layer of flavors.

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Photo of stakem
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml pours a mahogany color with a khaki head that persists longer than the other barrel treatments sampled. Also, legs of alcohol are noticed droopin down the wall of the glass.

The aroma contains quite a bit of vinous aspect before blending to the expected vanilla and oak with a slight hint of coconut/caramel. The spirit reinfoced booziness is actually an afterthought considering the vinous notes that stand out.

The taste is tangy and vinous with oak and hints of papery to cardboard-like oxidation. A slight herbal aspect before blending to caramel and dare I say chocolate grain? A very unique flavor combination that is strikingly different than the other barrel treatments.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation in the feel but visually has more going for it than the others. There is something about that vinous touch of brandy that I loved included in this. It really stood out and I liked this significantly more than the bourbon, rye and american oak versions. I just wish it didnt display so much oxidation for only being in the bottle for a year.

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Photo of IKR
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage
Served in Bruery Tulip

Appearance: Slightly cloudy dark-brown with a modest sized light-beige head that dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell: Moderate Brandy notes, brown sugar, dark fruit notes (raisins and prunes) and modest grape notes. Nice smelling beer. The Brandy bal-aging works well with the dark fruit notes present in all the Bruery's Anniversary beers.

Taste: following the nose, moderate Brandy notes, some fruity sherry notes, raisins, a touch of brown sugar, and mild oak notes. I expected this one to be fairly sweet but the beer finishes drier and less sweet than perhaps all the other Bois variants. The Brandy is apparent but again I feel it's a nice complement to the taste profile. Very mild alcohol presence, great for the ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall: The Brandy bal-aging results in a very good Anniversary beer variation. For me it's either the Rye whiskey version or the Brandy version that take top billing of all the Bois variants. The Bruery is going through a few growing pains at the moment but when they nail a beer it's top notch.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a murky brown color with a thin creamy head on top. The smell of the beer is loaded with malty aromas and some subtle barrel as well. The taste of the beer has a good balance of beer & barrel. Overall this beer was really nice.

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Photo of timc100
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours darker than the bourbon varient - dark murky ruby/dark brown, minimal to zero beige head. Aroma of huge brandy - dark fruits, apple skin, cherry, booze - some of the dank mustiness of the old ale as well as some cocoa. Strong boozy oak and some vanilla. Taste is very vibrant - strong brandy fruits, vanilla, caramel, molasses and some chocolate - more impressive than the aroma. Mouthfeel is perfect - full, creamy little-to-no carbonation.

Outstanding. Very different from the bourbon and drinking wonderfully right now.

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Photo of rudzud
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Share bottle between me and JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a clear hazel nut with a thin light cloud for a head.

S - Aromas of bready malts, sweet brandy and bourbon along with dark raisins galore.

T - Taste is nice brandy, sweet malts, nice caramel, awesome vanilla from the bourbon. Very nice chocolate dark fruits (figs and raisins).

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, just slightly syrupy.

O - Overall this was a very fun and delicious beer with real, big brandy flavours. Very, very tasty.

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Photo of Resuin
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a big snifter. This was bottled on 04/17/13.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby/brown and leaves a nice big finger of off-white/light tan head.

Smell: Big brandy, oak, plums, sweet figs, black cherries, molasses, vanilla. Very complex and lots of sweet flavors in the aroma.

Taste: Nice - not as overly sweet as I was expecting after the smell: Plums, brandy, black cherries, finishes smooth with oak and some more brandy. Still quite sweet, but definitely not overbearing to me. Nice, complex, balanced profile.

Mouth-feel: Relatively low carbonation (but definitely enough) with a medium to heavy, creamy body. Alcohol is really well masked by the sweetness.

Overall: This is a great, big beer. Lots of complex flavors in both the aroma and taste. This is better balanced than I was expecting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Photo of Lucnifter
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle from the cellar.
Rich mohogany in appearance with low carbonation.
Aroma is brandy up front with oak, caramel and toffee in the background.
Brandy and caramel, raisins and vanilla flavors.
Medium body like all the Bruery anniversary ales.
So pleased with how this has aged.

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Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Share bottle with rudzud and I shared with various people at my cellar cleaning.

Light fizzy head, hint light with dark mahogany ruby light.

Nose sweet candy, plenty of dark fruit raisin galore and plum, brown sugar, candy, nice brandy juicy character.

Taste pretty sweet, candy, caramel, toffee, dark fruit brandy, dark candy bar, little choc caramel, little nutty, warming booze little tingly character, brandy like fruit, brandy soaked raisin and fig.

Mouth med bod, little syrupy, decent carb.

Overall pretty nice, good sweet characters, mild brandy with actual brandy, dark fruits, etc.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Deep ruby with nice carbonation, a one finger brownish head that dissipates very quickly.

S-Brandy. The barrel imparts a great spice and dark fruit note. Rounded out with caramel. Smells sweet and fruity.

T-Very similar to the nose. The brandy barrel is a great touch. The spices mixed together with the fruits are great. Caramel and chocolate rounding it out.

M-Medium to heavy, has the most carbonation out of the variants.

O-Easily the best variant, the brandy barrel was a great, gave off lots of flavor.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a taster.

Appearance - Deep brown with a surprisingly large head. Thick khaki collar.

Smell - Brandy is strong. Apple aroma. Caramel and booze.

Taste - And it's just like smell. Sweet, brandy liquor flavor. Caramel. Boozy. Rich.

Mouthfeel - Boozy as hell. Sweet and diabetic.

Overall - I'm always a sucker for these beers. Very sweet and I don't love the brandy barrel, though.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. Bottled 4/17/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours a thick mahogany hue, opaque center when held to the light. Little head, a mere haze of retention and no lacing.

Boozy aromas of sweet candy apple coating, rich caramel, dates and sharp alcohol.

Taste maintains that boozy hot theme indicated by the nose. Sweet, candy sugar, dates, caramel, apple skins, that signature Bruery yeast character, brown sugar and a hearty wallop of alcohol. The flavors are rich and intense enough to stand up to the heavy handed booze heat. Quite good.

Slick, heavy feel with moderately low carbonation and a noteable alcohol cooling effect. Brandied dark fruits and toffee finish.

A distinctly different experience from the bourbon barrel original. Many of the same flavors are present but it's pretty amazing what a difference the brandy barrels make. While I prefer the bourbon variant this was a great comparison which makes me more excited to try the new American oak and rye whiskey variants.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery this as a member of the RS. Big fan of the anniversary beers, and had the "normal" Bourbon version last night.

a - Pours a murky, deep reddish-brown color with two fingers of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Some nice lacing left on the glass. Looks a little redder than the normal bourbon version and previous years.

s - Smells of brandy, caramel malts, sweet toffee, sweet dark fruits, toasted malts, brown sugar, raisins, figs, plums, wood, bourbon, roasted malts, light vanilla, and molasses. Very nice nose; a little sweeter than the bourbon version and a little more dark fruits. I like the bourbon nose a little bit better, but they are both awesome and close.

t - Tastes of sweet brandy, caramel malts, toffee, sweet brown sugar, raisins, figs, plums, sweet dark fruits, light vanilla, toasted malts, and molasses. Taste is very good, even better than the bourbon version. The bourbon version had a lot of noticeable alcohol in it whereas it is hidden much better in this brandy version. Equally as sweet with a little more dark fruits to it.

m - Medium to full, body and low to moderate carbonation. Not as much alcohol to it as the bourbon version. Tiny bit more carbonation than the bourbon version. Nice body, but also not as thick and a step down from the bourbon version.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot; another great anniversary beer. While I think the bourbon version had a slightly better nose (I like the bourbon more than brandy), and a better mouthfeel, the taste of this one was much better, and hid the alcohol much better, much like Fruet did. This one is also sweet and has a lot of caramel and sugar to it like the bourbon version, but more dark fruits. Awesome beer, well worth seeking out.

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Bois - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 264 ratings