Samael's Ale | Avery Brewing Company

very good
645 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 645 | Ratings: 1,460
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is boozy and rich with fruit, yeast, oak. A ring of lace otherwise almost no head on peachy coloured unfiltered body. Taste is coconut from the barrel ageing.
Pineapple, apricot, peach. Above average mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable for such high alcohol. Bottle at Beerbistro with Todd B.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.45% abv. April 2009, Batch 5. Pours a very dark red amber with thick tan head.

Nose of rich cooked fruit, maple/toffee and ripe pears.

Mouthfeel is rich, bold and creamy.

Flavors are of big sweet cream sherry with bold oak undertones. Rich brown sugar, maple/toffee with coffee and hints of bittersweet dark chocolate. A strong sherry - sherry coffee finish with some oak character and some bitter coffee/chocolate and bitter maple. A bit of ripe/old raisins, as well.

The more one consumes the harder and harder it is to go back because of high sugar/sweetness. Liquid dessert but not as rich and inviting as the two others in the series.

A sipper but also good with dessert. Drink with care. The alcohol really creeps up on you!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of brwilson.

Bottled in May 2006. Batch 2.

Pours a murky dark orange with a tan head that settles to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, wood, and citrus zest. Taste is the same with some honey flavors as well. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine that has aged pretty spectacularly over the past 6 years.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a really monster brew. or should i say demon (hehe). batch 7, april 2011, 15.31% abv. pours a thick hellish looking red with plenty of yeast floaters (intentionally vigorous pour) and a 3/4 inch off white head thats thick as a milkshake into my leffe chalice. smells very oaky, new american would by my guess because of how sugary it seems to be in the nose. flavor is a complex barleywine style thick sweet caramely beverage that hides the alcohol quite well for over 15%. plenty of rich woody notes like a fine bourbon. as it warms the booze element comes right to the fore, wow this is huge. leaves a nice spicy aftertaste too. mouthfeel is really nice, full bodied but with extraordinary carbonation for a wood aged beer, really really bright and lively in the mouth, almost overwhelming with the alcohol.yeast hangers on give it a sort of chewy feel, but its welcomed here. overall a very distinct beer, too be expected from avery's bigger stuff. is it worth $7.79 for a 12oz. bottle? hard to say. i think for a first trial yes, but i won't purchase it again at that cost, not soon anyway. too many other beers to try at the same price, but the buzz here is akin to a wine drunk, and im sure i will feel this one in the morning. a beautiful sipper and a new friend... samael

edit: 2014 edition is awesome, a little lighter in alcohol, it needs less cellar time i imagine. so much oak on this, just glorious slow sipping brew. i stay away from it sometimes because even 12 ounces is heavy lifting, but i am reminded again just how good this beer is. top tier strong ale.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

These beers are crazy. The look of them isn't too out of the ordinary or anything. The color is a rich looking brownish amber color with a thin tan head on top. The smell of is quite strong, boozy, malty and sweet. The taste of the beer is also like the nose. It was very sweet with a kick of hops and booze in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is on the thicker side and has a oily quality to it. Overall this beer neds to be sipped. It's big and very bold. Really should be enjoyed over the course of an hour or so, in my opinion anyway.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy caramel in color and has a light amount of carbonation along with some small yeast particles visible near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a thin beige head that gradually died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a thick ring of dense bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of caramel, oak, toffee and vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and is quite complex; the caramel flavors seem to stand out most prominently. The initial taste has a light amount of sweetness.
M: It feels full-bodied and a bit sticky and syrupy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a large amount of warmth from the alcohol, particularly in the finish.
O: The alcohol is definitely perceptible, but is relatively well masked for a beer of this strength. It’s a nice beer to sip with all of the complex flavors and it seems to age rather well.

Note: 2009 Vintage (Batch #5)

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm a likin' this brew. This could be my favorite Avery brew since Avery 10. There is a lot of port-wine characteristics in this beer. Shy with the hops, this Barley Wine ascends the style in which it is characterized. Very sweet, syrupy, and oily looking right from the offset. With a deep mohogany hue and a stark white head, it promises intense sweetness and richness. Aromas of sweet brandy-like alcohols, swirled around toffee, caramel, vanilla, rum, and bourbon (I think it is the oak). Tastes even sweeter than is suggested by the aromas. A follow up of rum-soaken cherries, berries, maple syrup, and heavy, heavy malts. Not teeth-hurting sweet, but close. High fruit-cake flavors with the dehydrated old fruits and sugar drenched breads. Heavy and sweet on the mouth. This one is surely a sipper. Very warming without fusals and with a sweet alcohol / oily feel. Finishes like a lot of dark rums and tawny ports that I have drank. This beer is phenominal. Better than Samichlaus in my opinion.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, red-foil capped bottle, 2014 edition (batch #10), and 14.2% ABV, this time around.

This beer pours a clear, medium red-brick amber hue, with two healthy (huh) fingers of loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly beige head, which leaves a few instances of splotchy snow rime lace around the glass as things very slowly sink away.

It smells of sharp, wooden alcohol straight off the bat, followed by some dense bready caramel and toffee sweetness, heady pale orchard fruit, bruised banana, brown sugar, a separate leafy, perfumed alcohol essence, and a relatively subtle - which only means so much here - savoury, almost current seasonal spiciness. The taste is boozy banana right away, before the rest of the alcoholic's bread recipe comes crashing through - thick, almost gooey caramel, bread pudding, and soused cinnamon and nutmeg spice esters - with some vanillan wood, muddled black fruit vinous port notes, and rather sedate earthy, leafy hop bitters.

The bubbles are quite understated in their low-key frothiness, the body a viscous medium-full weight, and smooth and creamy and boozy and smooth and creamy and boozy, and well, you get the idea. It finishes sweet, sweaty (me, not the beer), well warm, ethereally woody, and complex in its fruitiness, but not really anywhere else.

While this Hades-tempting offering may be a bit young (all the better, eh, Beelzebub?) at this point in time, it's still a pungent, palate-punching mouthful. The thing is, other than the lurking, erupting alcohol heat, I can't imagine the rest of this changing all that much after any amount of long-term aging. And that's why I don't feel bad about having opened it now.

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Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color; the head builds through a bubble show and leaves a few strands

Smell: Caramel and booze; vanilla and oak

Taste: Starts out with a sweet caramel flavor that just gets sweeter from the turbinado sugar through to the finish; elements of vanilla, bourbon and oak

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A tough one to consume; way too sweet for my palate

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Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Batch #8 15.47%. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with foiled over pressure cap served into a New Belgium pilsner glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high, though I fear it'll be too hoppy.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of beige colour, hardly any cream, okay thickness, and pretty good retention considering the ABV. Colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Somewhat vibrant, but not horribly appealing.

Sm: Alcohol, pale hops, heavy caramel, toffee, and clean malts. Heavy oak. A strong aroma.

T: Clean malts with some light indistinct pale hops. Some alcohol heat, but it's rather understated for how high the ABV truly is. Caramelized malts. A muddy oak tone. There's little going on here considering the style and oak aging. It doesn't seem worth the effort to age. Some layering. Not particularly complex or subtle. No yeast comes through. A bit boring - especially for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet - thankfully, because the flavours would do worse if brought out by the mouthfeel. Adequately carbonated. Far too thick and syrupy (its biggest problem by far). Fairly heavy on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable for the ABV, but you wouldn't want to quaff it. Not quite a sipper. I don't much care for it. I certainly wouldn't get it again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends either. A disappointing brew from Avery. They should free up the aging space for a better beer. A very poor example of a barleywine.

High D+

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Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 batch, draft served in an 8 oz. footed goblet.

Dark auburn color, reddish brown with light tan foam that leaves spindly arcs of lacing in the glass.

Aromas of toasted coconut, fried plantains, melted toffee, cajeta. Intensely rich, decadent and sweet. Similar flavors, lots of creamy toffee, toasted oak, bananas foster, vanilla, big bourbon.

Body is thick and syrupy, creamy and sweet with very intense flavors. So much so, it reminded me strongly of Colorado whiskies Stranahans and High West Double Rye. Wouldn't be surprised if they used Strananhans barrels/chips, this tasted very similar. Anything more than a tiny sip and you feel an alcohol burn, it's certainly potent at 16%. Took quite awhile to finish the small glass, but it was definitely savored.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Boboski: Poured a clear dark amber color ale with a small foamy head with little retention and no lacing. Aroma of brown sugar is domination with some subtle alcohol signs. Taste is dominated by some very sweet malt with very little hops and also very little signs of oak. Alcohol was way too predominant and the beer was way too sweet for my personal taste. It seems that Avery big beers series are either hit or miss and this one would be a miss.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from April 2009 - cosumed on 11/15/11

A - Poured out a hazy, light burgundy color with little to no head. It left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled very malty sweet with vanilla and oak notes. A touch of bourbon aromas, too.

T - Good sweet bread maltiness with bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors. There are hints of butterscotch and toffee flavors.

M - It was soft and creamy with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. A full bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

O - This was really good with about a year and a half of aging. Curious about a fresh bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice amber-garnet color with a very thin tan head and no retention or lacing. The nose brings forward a lot of sweet malt plus some caramel and brown sugar. A bit of dark fruit and a lot of booze there as well. The flavor brings forward much of the same, though it's not as integrated, likely due to the fact that the alcohol is really taking over. Plus, there's a bit too much sweetness. Both of these characteristics pervade throughout the feel and finish. Pretty good, but needed more time or it needs to be toned down a bit.

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Photo of superspak
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass; batch 1, bottled in 2005. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy dark ruby red color with a minimal wisp of a head that reduces to nothing. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, plum, apple, pear, molasses, toffee, caramel, toast, brown bread, oak, light chocolate, vanilla, light clove, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with big complexity and great balance of malt, oak, and yeast ester notes; with big strength. Taste of huge raisin, fig, plum, prune, apple, pear, molasses, brown sugar, brown bread, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, light clove, toast, chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, prune, plum, fig, pear, apple, molasses, brown sugar, brown bread, caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast, oak, vanilla, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of big dense malt, fruity yeast, and oak flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and moderately syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome English barleywine. Big complexity and great balance of malt, yeast ester, and oak flavors; and quite smooth sip on slowly with no booziness. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich deep burnt orange with a white one finger head that clings nicely to the glass,seems to be quite highly carbonated.Big vanilla bean aromas go well with the underlying oak almost a spiced rum feel on the nose.Chewey thick mouthfeel but it glides nicely down the hatch coating the mouth nicely just sublime,flavors like aroma are heavy on vanilla but there is dried fruit flavor as well like prunes and or raisins.This a sipper but is exceptional when sipped another big winner from Avery.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered this beer at Monk's the other night, but boy was I pleasantly surprised! The label lists the original gravity as 1.146 specific... that's 36.5 degrees plato! Damn!

It pours a clear crimson and ruby-amber body beneath a short but creamy white head that unfortunately cannot hold (of course, at 14.5% abv that's to be expected).

The nose offers light, sweet berry-like fruit juice and malt.

The body is full, and it's supple and smooth across the palate with a restrained carbonation.

The flavor delivers sweet, candyish malt; fruit (berries, orange); alcohol; and oak. The alcohol iis well-cloaked, and it's as well balanced as a behemoth like this can be, with just enough bitterness to keep its sweet malt from becoming overbearing. It is palate coating though, and you might want to have a glass of water on hand for this one.

Big and bold and sweet.... stunning! Definitely unique, and surprisingly enjoyable for such a sweet-malt and alcohol monster!

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +3.1%

12 oz 2009 bottle.
First time trying this beer so I don't know if it is past it's peak but it is certainly a great beer. I gotta suspect it is near its prime.
Slightly sweet, slightly oaky, and fabulously rich, this brew has an excellent balance of flavors. High ABV is nicely hidden -- drinks like a 9-11% ale.

(fresh bottle sampled in Oct. 2014 was too sweet and significantly less enjoyable, especially in quantity).

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Batch #8 - April 2012

A: Pours a hazy to cloudy dark copper to caramel in color with some light amounts of gentle visible carbonation, moderate amounts of white yeast particles in suspension, and moderate amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a tow finger tall dense foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thick layer evenly covering the entire surface of the beer with a very slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of sweet malts with both caramel and toffee notes. In addition, there are fairly strong aromas of oak and vanilla. Light amounts of alcohol.

T: Similar to the smell, upfront this beer is fairly sweet with strong flavors of malts with notes of caramel and toffee. Afterwards, there are some lighter flavors of brown sugar and molasses. Light amounts of bitterness but some moderate to strong flavors of alcohol towards the finish.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Sticky with some moderate to significant amounts of alcohol heat, especially towards the finish.

O: Though it comes in a small bottle, this bottle is really intended for sharing because this is a big beer and the alcohol is not all that well hidden. I recommend slowly sipping this one over a fairly long period of time but it was nice on a cold winter evening. Very nice amounts of complexity.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at their brewpub
2011 batch

Poured into a mini snifter, an oily crimson brown with a creamy off-white head that dissipated almost completely after a minute or so. Sweet nose, lots of fruits and caramel, a bit phenolic. Sweet taste of caramel and toffee candy, oak, dark fruits, mildly hopped for a sense of balance. Alcohol taste is pretty subdued actually, but it's definitely a strong one. "No," my lovely wife said, passing the glass to me. Full-bodied, left a film in the mouth, but nothing a sip of water can't cure. Tasty, but not something you'd spend your whole night drinking.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Per the label: Bottled in May 2006 - Batch 2. I don't quite recall the location of purchase, but apparently it was for $8.49.

Appearance: Pours out a lightly cloudy, pecan-colored body with a thin, ivory-hued head that settles into a small ring around the inner perimeter of the glass.

Smell: A sharp, highly sweet-smelling nose of sugars on top of sugars and, for a brief moment, I'd swear I saw the Spectre of Diabetes in the mirror nearby. The scent of candied goodness, abundant caramel, piquant American oak wood, and macerated dark fruits draws you in closer only to be nasally stabbed by some jutting, jabbing currents of fusel alcohol.

Taste: Incredibly sweet! In fact, I'll admit to outright grimacing like I missed the lottery by just one number. And on the second sip, and the third, and the fourth, and so on. It's like a good horror flick that can still make you 'jump' on multiple viewings years later. Caramel candy with pure sugar sweetness that never fully goes away, but merely allows fruity tastes of poached raisins, dried orange peel, and fig juice to arrive. Small pinch of acidity. Faint, long-dead hop character throwing off hints of citrus and spicy, but with no more than a little bitterness remaining at this point -- get real, like anything could really ever cut through this much sweetness. Woody, tannic oak taste with a stingy bit of vanilla, but, just like everything else, you need to get in line behind the sweetness. The only thing that seems to be able to cut through the sugars at all is the alcohol. Finishes sweet with plenty of heat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: To call this one a slow sipper is a bit of an understatement. While I'd tout other beers for their keen drinkability, here I'd give myself a pat on the back for the ability to drink and endure the entire twelve ounces. Also, it may or may not have been the initial jaw-seizing grimace, but, either way, all this sweetness has caused one of my teeth to hurt. =(

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage. Autumn leaves russet with an infusion of Sunkist orange. A spirited pour results in almost no head, just a slim slice of ecru colored creaminess that is now all but gone. The snifter is essentially bare as well. It's hard to fault the appearance too much given the ABV and the style.

The nose is classic English strong ale. Of course, English barleywine works just as well (maybe better) given the overlap between those two styles. Each sniff delivers musky caramel, boozy fruit, scented pipe tobacco and newly tanned leather. It's amazing how little alcohol is evident since this bad boy is almost 30-proof.

Four years in the bottle has tamed this beast (not 'The Beast', that's a different Avery brew). I'm glad I chose a snifter because Samael's is a sipper par excellence. It's sweet and rich and warming, with a muffled explosion of flavor each time the taste buds are bathed. Barely above room temperature is the only way to go.

With nothing but pale and caramel malt, it's not surprising that sticky toffee pudding holds down the bottom end. Versions from 2007 onward add roasted malt for additional flavor and bitterness, but I like this recipe just fine. Who cares if the Columbus and Fuggles hops have long since faded?

Other flavors include cherries and oranges soaked in bourbon whiskey, vanilla and brown sugar syrup, part of which is the result of aging on American oak chips. It works here as well as it does in Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale. That is to say... very well. If I had any idea this beer was this good, I would have cracked the crown years ago.

The mouthfeel is right up my big beer lovin' alley. There isn't enough carbonation for it to be mouthfilling, but it's sappy and sticky and is a pleasure to sip. I wouldn't change a thing.

Samael is the Angel of Death and resides in Seventh Heaven. Avery Samael's Ale makes me glad to be alive and is a truly heavenly brew. Never mind the $7.99 price tag for 12 ounces (4 years ago), this is exceptional beer that I will now add to my cellar whenever the opportunity presents itself. Bottom line: devilishly good.

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Photo of billab914
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone IRS glass. It poured dark amber in color with a thin, frothy, white colored head to it. Nice lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a strong oak presence to it that gives it a dry, woody, slight vanilla like flavor. A good amount of citrus hops and sweeter malts are there as well, but the oak seems like the focus. With everything coming together the aroma becomes a lot like a freshly peeled orange strangely enough.

The taste has a bit more of a malty, caramel presence to it at first. It quickly starts to turn more towards the oak and citrus aspects of it with notes of orange, oak, vanilla and bitter citrus rind all lingering into the finish. There are some sweeter, candied like fruits to it as well. It did feel a little harsh at times with the flavors not always being very complimentary of each other.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being above average. Overall, it was a pretty decent beer. The oak and the citrusy flavors came together well enough in it. It definitely made me think fresh peeled oranges on more than one occasion. It did however also feel a little harsh and unrefined at times with the oak and citrus flavors clashing a little.

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Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like batch 2, pours an effervescent caramel with 4+ fingers of fluffed up white head. A little lacing & just a hint a head ring on the side of the glass

S: Smokey & cakey & boozey

T: Breadyness, inrense plummy & apricot flavors & along with some strong oak char. Raisins, rum & sweetbread follow. Finishes dry, with hints of vanilla, maple syrup candy, bourbon & pralines along some warming booze. I feel there's a little too much taste-wise colliding to rate a higher score

MF: Medum bodied/chewy, vinous with low carbonation

Drinks alright, the dryness & smokeyness detract some. I'll take this over the beast or the devil stout Mestophiles any day

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

Samaels Oak Aged

2006 Bottle

A – Poured a very hazy light amber, it had a lot of orange tint to the color and almost a pumpkin color to it. No head formed on this at all, which was quite suprising. There was ample side glass lace however which trickled down the glass throughout the session and made some very nice concentric rings throughout. Could not really tell if it was carbonated well upon first look due to the haze and cloudiness, but the color on this one was very nice.

S – Aroma was intresting. I had thought it would be dominated, even overwhelmed by the 14.5% abv, however I really did not pick up much of this in the aroma at all. In fact I picked up a lot of oakey aromas, some grassy, earthy tones, and a lot of maple sugar. It had a very sweet profile which really surprised me. I think the aging may have mellowed it as I had one fresh a while back and it came off quite hot. This seemed quite a bit more balanced and almost dare I say tame. Was really looking forward to sipping to see how mellow it may have gotten.

T – Now see this is why I age things. This was soo much more calm then when it was fresh. The alcohol was really toned down and allowed what were I think the more true flavors to come out and really added to the character on this. The sweetness really started to come through and added a whole new element to it. Lots of maple and oak flavors wrapped them selves around it, and almost all of the hotness was gone. It was actually quite smooth. Aftertaste was rather pleasant and nowehere near as harsh as I had remembered. This really was a whole different brew then what I had remembered. Very complex in the flavor profile as it seemed every sip brought out something new.

M – Very smooth which actually surprise me quite a bit. I had expected it to be somewhat harsh, but this was remarkably subtle and smooth. Not a lot of carbonation, and the feel took on more of a brandy like conisitency, however it was very nice as is. A good sipper that did not come off too thin or too thick.

D – Well here in lies the dilemma. Do you rate it low based on the obnoxiously high ABV, or do you rate it for what it is. I always like to do the latter so I will base it on that. It was great. Noramlly when they get up this high, it is very difficult to have much without really getting burned out. This was the exception to that rule. It was super smooth, and don’t get me wrong, you could definitely tell how strong it was, but not from the flavor. I thought this had a remarkable drinkibility for how strong it was.

Overall to say I was impressed would be putting it lightly. I am usually one for big brews, just tend to back off when they get this big. This one however really seemed to hold its own. It was soo mellowed and drinkable, it was almost a shame I did not have another, although that is probably a good thing. I wish I had aged more then one as this was really quite nice and was perfect over the course of a couple hours to just sit and relax with. Definitly recommend trying this one.

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,460 ratings.
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