Bois - Brandy Barrel-Aged
The Bruery

Bois - Brandy Barrel-AgedBois - Brandy Barrel-Aged
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Old Ale
4.35 | pDev: 7.59%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bois - Brandy Barrel-AgedBois - Brandy Barrel-Aged
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 268 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of colts9016
colts9016 from Idaho

4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review 1550
Today was an epic day, I did something I had not done in 24 years. I chose to celebrate this day with a 2013 Bois. Almost everything I have consumed from The Bruery has been stellar. Looking forward to this beer. The cap gave a lovely hiss as it came off, the aged perfectly. The beer is 48 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The pour created a massive two-fingered light tan head with excellent retention. The head is airy, creamy, and foamy. A touch of lacing was left on the glass as the head slowly dissipated. The color is SRM 32, dark brown used engine oil with mahogany hues. The beer is mostly opaque. A stunning presentation for an eight-year-old beer.

I first smell brandy, toffee, caramel, and fruity sweetness. Nosing further, I detect oranges, wood, floral, biscuity, bready, a touch of smoke, and malty sweetness. The aromas are heavily concentrated around the barrel and malt profile. Hard to discern any distinct characters.

The flavors in the beer are brandy, caramel, toffee, raisins, oranges, wood, a hint of floral, biscuity, bready, a hint of Maillard, malty sweetness, wine character, leather, and earthy tones.

The mouthfeel of the beer is chewy, coating, and slightly warming.

The body of the beer is full, the carbonation low, and a full finish.

This is the exact reason why I age beers. This beer is phenomenal. The alcohol warming is pleasant and inviting. The big malt profile is deep and rich. I get subtle hops and the barrel is near perfect. This beer is stunningly gorgeous inside and out.

Jun 24, 2021
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

These anniversary beers seem to get broken out for fight night more than almost any other. Here is yet another from August 2015, or UFC 190 if you do it by fight card. Garbage card, good beer.

Pours dark brown, lighter brown head, 1/6". Aroma of dark fruit bourbon, which I guess is brandy. Lots of dark fruit notes, leather, brown malt, tobacco (damn this would have been nice with a cigar).

Taste, eh, given the awesomeness of this series, this was a bit underwhelming. Had plenty of alcohol and alcohol sting, brandy just does that, I thought the aroma was gonna make this different, but nah. A little bit of perhaps chocolate malt to it even. Vinous dark wine like note. The combo of the dark fruit notes, the high alcohol heat just didn't go as good as your average anniversary Bruery beer (which are usually awesome). Didn't find it to be as sweet as most seem to have. Turns out I wasn't a big fan of the Brandy Eclipse as it aged, loved it fresh, so maybe that is where there was a little misstep here.

May 13, 2020
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stortore from Illinois

4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 4/17/13, had 10/20/19. Bought at the Bruery store in DC, June 2018.

Pours a dark chestnut brown, semi opaque, with a half inch foamy head and sparse, spotty lacing. Aromas of caramel, figs, dates, malt, light brandy, tobacco, brown sugar, raisins, molasses, some oak, light char and leather, a little licorice. Has a bit of a sweet aroma. Smells absolutely incredible. Flavors of caramel, figs, brandy, dates, malt, raisins, tobacco, oak, molasses. Only a hint of alcohol warming, not as sweet as you might think. Smooth, a great medium to full body, appropriately carbonated.

Amazing for six and a half years in the bottle, well developed and expressive aromas and flavors. Probably would have been a little better a few years back, but still outstanding.

Mar 30, 2020
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superspak from Ohio

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.

Sep 08, 2018
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bgold86 from New York

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.

Dec 27, 2016
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

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.

Dec 23, 2016
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SHODriver from North Carolina

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.

Oct 01, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

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.

Feb 06, 2016
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bowzer4birdie from Illinois

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.

Oct 17, 2015
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floridadrift from Florida

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.

Sep 16, 2015
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MattVerbin from Arizona

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.

Aug 31, 2015
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kscaldef from Oregon

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.

Aug 03, 2015
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DVMin98 from North Carolina

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.

May 10, 2015
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Rollzroyce21 from California

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.

Feb 23, 2015
Photo of nmann08
nmann08 from Virginia

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.

Aug 26, 2014
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

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.

Jul 01, 2014
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stakem from Pennsylvania

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.

Jun 04, 2014
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IKR from California

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.

May 10, 2014
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

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.

Mar 08, 2014
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timc100 from Illinois

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.

Feb 23, 2014
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rudzud from Massachusetts

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.

Feb 08, 2014
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Resuin from Massachusetts

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.

Feb 04, 2014
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Lucnifter from California

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.

Jan 05, 2014
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jlindros from Massachusetts

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.

Dec 29, 2013
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rlee1390 from Indiana

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.

Dec 17, 2013
Bois - Brandy Barrel-Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 268 ratings