Samael's Ale | Avery Brewing Company

very good
1,470 Ratings
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Samael's AleSamael's Ale

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.90%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
A super-caramelly, oak-aged strong English-style ale, brewed with Columbus, Fuggels hops and two-row barley, caramel 150L malt.

2006: 14.50% (Batch #2)
2007: 14.50% (Batch #3)
2008: 15.53% (Batch #4)
2009: 16.45% (Batch #5)
2010: 15.82% (Batch #6)
2011: 15.31% (Batch #7)
2012: 15.47% (Batch #8)
2013: 16.90% (Batch #9)
2014: 14.20% (Batch #10)
2015: 14.60% (Batch #11)

Added by ommegangpbr on 06-24-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,470 |  Reviews: 648
Photo of HardTarget
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Maple, woody, and hard core alcohol. This beer means business.

Appearance: Little to no head on this copper/amber glass.

Flavor: Cognac, rich malt, some vanilla, light wood flavors all blend together quite nicely. Flavor is intense, rich, and pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Thick texture that triggers a chew, firm carbonation, and it has a mouth coating quality that last at least 54 minutes.

Overall Impression: Wow, intense. I thought it was like Sam Adam’s Triple Bock, but then I opened one of those and noted the differences. Still, this is rich, flavorful, tasty, but STRONG. It’s not playing. Treat with respect and enjoy. Recommended. Thanks to Pegasus for sharing the bottle.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky brownish amber with a thin, creamy beige mousse.

S: Aromas of caramel, vanilla, coconut, milk chocolate, oak, and alcohol are present on the nose.

T: Notes of plums, raisins, figs, Medjool dates, sugar, caramel, vanilla, oak, toasted coconut, milk chocolate, and mellow, warming alcohol wash across the palate. The finish is long and rich with a combination of chocolate, oak, coconut, vanilla, and caramel flavors asserting themselves before the alcohol takes over completely.

M: Full-bodied and syrupy. Carbonation is prickly, which is surprising since this beer was bottled in 2007. Alcohol presence is fairly pronounced, but not particularly distracting.

O: This is a nice oak-aged barleywine, and will likely be welcomed by those who are accustomed to having a rich, strong ale after dinner. On its own, Samael is a bit difficult to drink, but still very likeable in its way. I wasn't expecting to like this ale as much as I did, and would have no difficulty recommending it to fans of barleywines in general.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rather uncommon brew is a real treat if you don't mind something on the sweeter side, and for dessert.

Pours orangey-amber with almost no head. Nose is NYQUIL cherry flavor, with some peachy Southern Comfort spirit aromas.

Palate is a viscous, gooey sugar bomb with cherry, wood, and again peach liquer.

Finish is sickly sweet but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a crystal clear color with an off white head. the aroma speaks largely of the caramel malts, and dried fruit, maybe a bit of raisin in there, but the oak mellows it all out with the vanilla and earthiness. the taste follows with the fruity esters up front with a lot of sweet roasted malt, little in the way of hops to speak of. the full body is nice but for a beer of this maginitude I could use a bit less co2. a nice barley wine none the less

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 16 Jan 2008. Batch #2, 2006.

Large light peachy colored head. Very well carbonated. Clear, color of a sorority fake sun tan. Smells quite sweet, almondy, vanilla. Taste starts similarly, reminiscent of an alcohol infused morning pastry. Very sweet, lots of raisins, molasses. Medium syrpuy body. Alcohol seems closer to 10%.

Diabetes and caries inducing but quite drinkable.

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A different barley wine with an odd color, probably unfiltered, but with a nice light aroma, tasty and very strong on the alcohol. Another retired Avery. Respect Beer!
Batch #12.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AdamSteve
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of rudzud
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 batch 4, thanks to someone for sharing.

A - Poured into a tulip cloudy copper hue with a thin had that fades quickly.

S - Aromas of caramel, toffee, alcohol, malts, faint cardboard.

T - Taste is light almost quiet malt heavy, very sweet and caramel. nicer toffee.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, not syrupy.

O - Overall this beer was pretty good considering that age. Very glad to try!

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Photo of Braudog
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thank God I was able to split a small bottle of this with the crowd at the Coastal Wine Connection’s beer tasting. This destroys your olfactory senses with a big sugary caramel "pow" ... Powerfully sweet with a cooked fruit sweetness, just a light bitter or medicinal value, it’s incredibly smooth but with the power of a nuclear power plant. Bronze orange. This is the Eiswein of beer, almost a cognac. For sipping by the fire with a cigar. (#2673, 2/1/07)

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of aeminter
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Amber brown with an off white head about one finger thick with good lacing

S - Alcohol (brandy or port), dried stone fruit, raisins, figs no noticeable hop presence.

T/M - Thick, malty sweet and intense. Wow. Very complex with port like characteristics...dried fruit and slight licorice flavors are most noticeable. Very nice alcohol warming effect. This beer needs to be sipped and chewed.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from the 2012 batch. I've had it in my cellar for almost a year.

I poured this into my snifter and the very strong nose slapped me in the face. The aroma on this one has a lot of rich fruit and oakiness. It smells like a cross between very strong old ale and the english barleywine. The 15.47% ABV comes as no surprise.

The flavor is over-whelming; even as a sipper. This should be poured in small amounts among multiple people. I would say that the strength and body almost work like a brandy/bourbon. I recommend this for a cold night among friends.

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Photo of misternebbie
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This wasn’t “florescent orange” like I noticed last year but was not clear and had a small head. The ABV was unchanged from 2005 so I guess that makes sense.

Smell – The orange and especially the cherry are very strong at the nose. They drown out any sense of hoppiness. The aroma though is excellent without a hint of alcohol or cheap ingredients.

Taste – The raunchy wine flavors are almost moldy and the wood is soaked and soggy, The alcohol is much more noticeable at the taste. The flavors work well together but lack any hint of hops that is presumed from the style classification.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied with no boozy mouth sting.

Drinkability – This is one of the more drinkable samples from the Avery booze dungeon. It didn’t get a stellar rating but I will buy occasionally.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has a deep red/brown body with a little cabonation. The head and lace are both very thick and off-white. This beer has a aged wood and candy like aroma. It has some very heavy fruit esters with a little bit of hops to it. The mouthfeel is buttery, full and has some alcohol presents. A lot warmth to it. There is a very rich and sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brewed in May 2006. Pours clear and orange-amber, with a surprisingly large head for something this alcoholic. Big vanilla aromas (not surprising, considering it's flavored with American oak chips) but also a compelling mango aroma, some butter and spice. On the palate, initially just a touch acidic and fruity (the mango again comes to the fore, along with some apricots) before growing sweeter and sweeter through the finish, which stays sharply and cloyingly sweet. It's not my favorite part of this beer. There's a burst of fruit and raw alcohol at the end. Substantial carbonation throughout the palate, which is kind of surprising given the style. Overall, this is rather good. I'm surprised I liked it as much as I did... the vanilla oakiness wasn't too overbearing, as it was attenuated by some fruit. The carbonation also helped it from becoming too heavy. Not bad at all, and certainly original.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours clear copper with a very dense creamy ecru head.

S - Light fruits, grapes, malt, sugar, alcohol.

T - Up front is brown sugar syrupy sweet, with some warm spices, malt, grains, and alcohol. There's a warm alcohol finish that lingers for a while.

M - Just under medium bodied yet creamy and smooth.

Notes - I wouldn't want more than one of these in a sitting.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of cosmicevan
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to CruisaC for this one.

Batch 6, March 2010

a - opened and filled my FW mini snifter. very nice transparent mahogany with a thin bubbly head that vanished quick. super slippery lacing. looks great...

s - as soon as i opened the bottle, the sweet smell of english barleywine filled the air. as i went in for a closer inspection damn that is strong wonder the whole room smells so good. classic nutmeg, brown sugar, malt only. caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak.

t - taste is also very nutmeg, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, toffee oak. very powerful and strong and RICH.

m - thick and rich. leaves a bit of a tingle. syrupy for sure.

o - overall, this is a big, a HUGE beer. it is an english barleywine to the MAX. i am a big fan of these flavors, but they are a bit extreme here, but what would you expect for 16+%

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Photo of npachl
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange highlights around a dark brown brew. Served with a foam of tight, medium-sized bubbles about one inch in height and off-white in color. Not much as far as lacing - no surprise there.

The aroma is malty-sweet with prevalent alcohol notes. Dark, over-ripe fruits, caramel, even some herbal notes like tobacco and hints of pine resin.

The flavor is hot, full, and sweet. The hops are definitely present, but are overshadowed by the bourbon-like notes of booze, vanilla, oak, and spice. Rich flavors of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar, along with cherry, plum, and a hint of chocolate.

Full, sticky mouthfeel. A bit light on the carbonation and ends up a little syrupy. But damn if I didn't enjoy that snifter.

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Photo of pkalix
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

wow. what a smell! pours a sediment-y golden honey with no head.
smell is like a wine-y banana bread, lighter and sweeter fruits, lots of malt, toffee and alcohol. other aromas in there too, with an almost synthetic flair on top.
taste is sweet with the expected alcohol burn. no bitterness, except for the alcohol, and a bit syrup-y. reading lots of different adjectives from everyone here and applying them to my experience. seems, though, the higher ratings are for bottles which have aged awhile. this one was produced only 9 months ago. I was wondering if it would mellow a bit sitting in the bottle for awhile?? otherwise, this is how I felt about it: appearance was standard without head but a pretty golden color. the aroma was fantastic but difficult to describe. the taste was not as fantastic, and was also difficult to describe aside from the alcohol. in a nutshell, this is a blast of alcohol and considering the taste of this young version, better to blast ya into buzzdom than to appreciate as a refined source of leisure. it definitely beats 4loco and I don't think there is a hangover associated with it like the 4loco...

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Photo of rderedin
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of KAF
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! Maybe I should have aged this a little bit longer. The oak flavor in this was over-powering. It was almost like biting into an oak tree. Still delicious though. Very dark amber in color with not much head. Oak, raisin and other dark fruits in aroma. Very sugary. The alcohol is also noticeably present.

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,470 ratings.
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