Samael's Ale | Avery Brewing Company

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Samael's AleSamael's Ale
BA SCORE
3.89/5
Very Good
1,482 Ratings
Samael's AleSamael's Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
650
Ratings:
1,482
pDev:
14.4%
Bros Score:
3.39
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
422
Trade:
21
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,482 |  Reviews: 650
Photo of walleye
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from the bottle. poured a orange amber, with a off white head. aroma caramel, fruity, woody, hopds. yeast, sugar,, alcohol. flavor the first thing I got was the alcohol a nice smooth alcohol, than out jumped the caramel, honey, fruit and a nice touch of hops. not too bad

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Photo of kmo1030
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

coppery amber colored with very little head when poured, it fades to the faintes of rings around the sides of the glass. apple, caramel, smoky oak notes, honey, alcohol, black ripe cherry, sweet bourbon characteristics, vanilla, and citrus all play roles in the aroma in varying degrees throughout the duration of this beer. it's very hard to put them in any sort of descending order so the preceeding list shouldn't be read as such. the taste consists of rich caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, some almost peach like fruit flavors with the apple and cherries form the nose, oak flavors begin at the back of the mouth and continue as an aftertaste that mingles with the fruit flavors. hints of bourbon come with the spicy alcohol that grows as the beer warms. i notice there are some very meade like characteristics to this beer including the mouthfeel which is very thick, but more carbonated than the appearance would let on. the drinkability is quite good considering the strength of flavor, full body and high abv. a very impressive brew from avery. i'm gonna try to pick of a few more of these for aging if i come across any.

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Photo of cokes
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Auburn-tinted amber under a surprisingly heathly rise of buttercreme.
Fuseled nose of vodka, cherry juice, dark rum, bourbon, biscuits, and caramel.
Into the mouth, it begins with a dripping caramel and black liquorice hues. And for a moment, this could well be mead, full of honey and sweet alcohol. It gathers thickness, as well as gummi sweet & sour cherry notes. It lingers here a while, sagging under its own girth, with the cherry and oak chip glinting sourness barely offsetting the maple syrup and brown sugar cloy. It rides out with a minced date, apicot, cherry, and blood orange fruitness, still dappled in caramel and cooked sugars. Boil all this into a spiced rum bath.
Heavy, obese, bodied. To say that this drinks like Mrs Butterworth is no hyperbole, nor is it libel. Honestly, this is probably best served poured unto pancakes.
That said, it can be tackled in successive sips, and thus distances itself from Avery's other high proof ventures. Diabetics and other sweet-aversive people beware.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This devilish brew pours a deep honey amber color with a short-lived white head that leaves some scattered lace.

The aroma is a striking combination of sweet malt, caramel, scorched brown sugar, and bourbon-laced nuances of oak, vanilla, coconut, and spice. Alcohol delivers quite a punch too.

Flavor is immediately malty sugar sweet, sweeter than any barleywine I've ever had. It's tastey though, filled with caramel, maple, honey, and subtle cinnamon spice. There's a well developed oak note that is toasty and warming. Plenty of the bourbon character comes through too. Good, but I'm glad to be sharing this bottle, this stuff is wicked! Alcohol is rather hot too, but the bourbon notes make the heat seem appropriate.

Body is big, thick, and sticky. Smooth creamy texture with soft carbonation. Drinkability is rather low, this is a definate sipper. This would be great with a few years on it to mellow out the heat. Worth seeking out IMO.

thanks Gabe for sharing

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Photo of mattcrill
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber pour with a minimal white head. The head doesn't even stick around with agitation.

Smell: Oak, must, alcohol, cinnamon, and a touch of peppercorn.

Taste: Oh my...sweet but not cloying, cabarnet grapes, brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup. This is big and bad. Complex and well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slippery, and slightly astringent (again, I don't consider that a bad thing...leaves a long finish on the palate).

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable given the ABV. It takes a lot to impress me with a barleywine. They have the potential to be a mess of alcohol and malt sweetness. Not this one. This is a sweeter one but well balanced and very enjoyable. Nice job by Avery.

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Photo of carln26
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with virtually no head or lace. Nose is a blend of vanilla, apple, caramel and a definitive brandy finish. Taste has a lot of candy sweetness up front, followed by vanilla and some mild bourbon heat. Not as much alcohol heat as I expected (this is good). More candy sweetness on the finish. Nice, sweet, port type brandywine. It could use a little hop character. The mouth feel is very smooth. Decent drinakbility tempered by the sweetness.

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Photo of mgdeth
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Rich amber color, not a lot of head (bad pour?). It seems to have a reasonable amount of fizziness. No lacing.

Smell - Malty sweetness dominates the aroma. There is more than just a whiff of alcohol in there.

Taste - Malt also dominates the flavor. However, a vanilla flavor is also present, probably from the oak chips. The vanilla flavor is very close to what I have tasted in Great Divide's Yeti Oak Aged Imperial Stout. No real hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel - So sweet that it is sticky, and heavy. Probably cloyingly sweet for many.

Drinkability - This beer should best be enjoyed in small quantities, and it is very filling. It is too sweet for my tastes - it could be more aggressively hopped.

Comments - Split a 12 ounce bottle with a friend or two.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured an orangish amber color at first with a small tanish head that disappeared quickly. There is a steadfast thin ring of foam around the sides of the glass maintained by some rising bubbles. There is no lacing.

Aroma: Fruits and lots of alcohol that burns the nose. It smells like sherry maybe brandy? Heck, I don't know...but I DO know that this thing is seriously fruity.

Taste: Rich, syrupy, citrusy, fruity, warming, sherry-like with a whole bunch more adjectives thrown in there! It is medium-full bodied with no real noticeable carbonation though you can see some bubbles rising. There is a bit of a tart bite that becomes more noticeable as it warms. This beer leaves your palate gasping for air!

Opinion: Well, another fine and over the top offering from our friends at Avery. I bought a couple extra of these to try in a couple years, as I think that this will be about the time that the beer may BEGIN to reach its prime. It is flavorful now, but this beer should be phenomenal after aging some.

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Photo of specsbeer06
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer had a lot of character to it. It was thick and left a lingering taste that resembles nuts. It was full of body and went down fairly easily. So far it is one of my favorite barley wines, though I can only compare it to a few. The depth of this beer was unlike the beer that I usually drink. I usually prefer a lighter body beer, but this one seemed to hit the spot.

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Photo of merlin48
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter. Body is a slightly hazed, copper amber color with a small beige head that quickly disappears without lacing. Aroma is fusel and phenolic, with aggressive notes of brandy and bourbon. Cotton candy notes from the turbanado sugars. Overripe peaches and apricots, drenched in brandy. A mild accent of vanilla, and just a hint of char and oak. Mouthfeel has a medium body and low carbonation. Warming alcohol is inescapable. Taste has sweet vinous notes and an assertive alcohol warmth. Nice array of fruits, with baked raisins, stewed apples, and overripe apricots. Some apricot nectar infused with sherry. Huge and powerful, and intended to be so. Nothing subtle here. Very over the top, but not overwrought like the 2004 Beast. Quite drinkable, actually, but watch your step. Avery made a wise move by releasing this in the smaller bottles. A bomber of this would be a bit too heavy for just one person. Thick and syrupy, and big alcohol with a solid fruit component await you here. This is the "Mini Beast".

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear golden amber with a low off-white head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was slightly spicy with alcohol phenolics and a light vanilla coupled with a nice oak presence. The aroma was floral and fruity with golden raisins and caramel coupled with a candy aroma.

The flavor was very sweet with a strong fruity caramel and golden raisin presence. The sweetness was strong and cloying and was missing the presence of bittering to balance. Malty is good, but this one is a bit too sweet for comfort. There was a light spice in the flavor and a lingering vanilla and light oak flavor.

The finish was sweet (go figure) with a candy flavor that lasts a bit too long and too strong into the afteraste. The body was full and the carbonation level was low. The alcohol warming after consumption was very high and noticeable. This one needs to dry out and since there was no sediment in the bottle at all, I am not sure that it would have aged much. A few years and this beast might be ready for the glass, but right now it is too darn sweet.

12 ounce bottle, thanks mentor!

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Photo of Rastacouere
2.51/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Clear light orange to amber hue, limited head. Sweet highly phenolic and ethanol fuel nose. Heavy licorice and cane sugar essences, greenish young oak feels rough around the edges. Extreme level of sweetness, chocolatey and brown sugar in a most concentrated way. Strong oaky alcohol presence, little burn grapsing the tongue. Limited goldings presence, vegetal finish, gently hoppy, but not enough to provide anything resembling balance. Rather heavy carbonation, syrupy palate, not cloying, but agressively sweet. Still, there are some rather pleasant flavors in there. I would not count on it, but maybe it is even that with some age, this would become palatable.

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Photo of OldSock
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance and Presentation – 2005, 12 oz bottle with red foil around the cap. Poured into a snifter the beer is a light brown with a bit of red. The head is almost non-existent and there appears to be no carbonation flowing through the beer.

Smell – Fusel alcohols with some wood and over ripened fruits. The solvent alcohol character is a bit overwhelming, but what can I expect from a 29 proof beer. My eyes are a bit dry after a day at the beach, as a result the alcohol vapor stings my eyes a bit unpleasant.

Taste – Despite the nose the alcohol does not overpowering in the taste at first. There is definitely a warming sensation, but the flavors of the beer shine through on top of the alcohol. Specifically there is oak, caramel sweetness, toasted grains and ripe fruits. Surprisingly low hop usage for an American Barley Wine. After awhile the alcohol really starts to assert itself and the rate at which I drink quickly falls.

Mouthfeel – Syrupy with almost no carbonation. The lack of carbonation helps to hide the alcohol.

Drinkability and Notes – This is a solid sipping beer, complex, but not exactly drinkable. Worth a try particularly if you like big English Barley Wines. I wish they would drop the alcohol to raise the drinkability and hop a bit more liberally to better balance out the near cloying sweetness.

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Photo of mflick
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours very nicely with an incredibly rich clean amber color.

Not noticing the ABV prior to smelling it I was taken off-guard by the strong alcohol smell. Soon after the smell of the alcohol the oaky-ness comes through and reminds me very much of the Weyerbacher series of beers aged in oak casks. The overall effect produces something that smells like candied oak.

At first the taste is too sweet and scotch-like. As the beer warms a bit and so do my senses I begin to grow fond of the brew. Even though it is extremely sweet it definitely becomes bearable especially for a late night drink.

To enjoy this beer it must be on intermittent occasions and most certainly on a cool night. Drinking it slowly over about an hour had a very decent effect of being both enjoyable and not too over-powering.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Provided direct from Colorado, as it’s not available in Georgia yet, Samael’s Oak-aged Ale came in a 12 oz. brown bottle with red neck foil, removing which revealed another layer of red foil. After removing the neck coverings, the beer was poured at room temperature into a goblet. The body looked gorgeously red –amber with viscosity that retarded the rise of the CO2 bubbles, although a small head did for and stuck around for a little while.

The aroma was succulently lusty with an undying sweetness. There was alcohol present in the nose of course, but not quite indicative of the rocky mountain high ABV that the brew possessed. As good as the smell was, the taste let me down a bit with an over the top sweetness. It took a few more sips to grow on me, and by the end I was enjoying the alcohol candy.

Very thick, tongue coating, sticky mouthfeel. Sip by sip, as I tried to get the beer down, the warming effects go stronger and stronger. As a strong nightcap, a very good drink. Not suited for any other purpose.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When is enough enough? Smell like scotch whiskey, and tastes like scotch whiskey. Hell, it must be scotch whiskey. It all tasted fine. My score relect that. I think everybody should try it. With that being said, Samaels doesn’t really have many characteristics of a beer..

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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 blitheringidiot
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label declares that it contains "oak chips" and turbinado sugar to explain its oak imparted flavor, much like Great Divide's Yeti. As if like a wolf in sheep's clothing, this was on the shelf at Whole Foods in Boca Raton, FL. Just the appearance alone from this 12 oz.'er is a warning shot over my bow depicting high ABV countenance of clear amber orange with microscopic rising bubble to an instantly faded top of corner grabbing thin khaki collar. Lace is for pussies! This beer is for kit-shickin MEN!

Aromatic scents immediately tie my nose into a pretzel, with an initial impact of oak wood followed by the one two punch combo of whisky bourbon awl-kee-hawl fusel oak barrel right hook. Deep vanilla and almond extract follow through have me reaching for the ropes before my first throw. A last scent of peach and cooking sherry has me pepped back into the ring. I'm giving this song a 4/5 scent because it has a beat I can dance to.

First swigs: (with intrepidation and hands shaking half through fear and half through delaying trying his octance octapus) Brazen cherry and vanilla round out the first swig with a dry and friendly greeting. Sorta like a screwdriver with a fruity citrous taste shortly balanced by the cut of booze heat. Quite citrous, and a huge thick resiny sugar cling really, with a meld of orange peel mostly meeting with a heavy oaky wooden bourbon shock. Fairly, but not overly complex. Especially crafted as a sipper, indeed, replete with fireplace and snow fall out side, regardless of the curent time of year twith AC blasting that this is attempted. Anything that has me write a review like a James Joyce novel deserves a 4/5 on taste.

Feel is medium bodied and slick, especially for an azz kicker of a 14.5% ABV blow to the skull. A bit thick. Word to the wise, drink Avery's Samael's with a fork in one hand and either a divorce decree or a wrinkled spent losing horserace form in the other because that is what it will cure. Don't plan on speaking the day after trying this liquid sandpaper pour.

Last swigs: Like licking a 9-volt battery and going back for more. Another Sterno inspired treat from Avery. Reminds me of when I used to steal whisky and mix it with any juice that I could find growing up. Somehow this barely squeaks into the ballpark of Weyerbacher Insanity, but not quite as smooth and more Berry juice, overall. If Insanity is Las Vegas, Samael's is Atlantic City. This puts the Mad Dog in Barleywine. Originally this got a wimpy 2.5 DR but after finishing a bottle and banging a crack whore slooty-who, a well deserved Gong Show 4/5 went on the judges board just because this was a tussle.

Joke: What's meaner than a pit-bull with AIDS? The guy that gave it to him. That's Samael's by AVERY. Every BA needs to heed Jim Morrison and "Ride the snake to the ancient lake." Beer is good for what Ale's ya. *hit spellchick*

Beer iz good. Happy behind-an-airport dumpster-toothless-crack whore-style American Barely Wine Beering, ma' beeyatches.

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Photo of mntlover
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber with red highlights almost ruby in color,small pinkey sized head falls to a ring. Some very sparse lace had to basically dump second half of the brew in my Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale glass to achive the head.

Aroma is sweet, cherries, vinegar/wood barrels leaving hints of bourbon, some smokiness. Citrus flavors pineapple mixed with apricot and melon. After siting a while vanilla rises and replaces the citrus aromas.

Taste is sweet some fruit hints of cherries mixed with citrus hints. Wood flavors with bourbon, just enough to mask the alcohol. This is a definate sipper, just take it easy and enjoy the flavors, wouldn't want to drink this too fast anyway. As it sits more flavors keep coming out vanilla mainly. No major alcohol noted just hints and a little warming is all I am feeling.

Mouthfeel is nice big and so smooth, very nice this baby is built for enjoying each sip.

Drinkability is good as in it is very tasty, wouldn't ever want more then two guess thats why its in 12oz instead of Avery's usual 22ozer's that or lower the sticker shock a little. Wouldn't mind having a few to cellar hopefully they will make it near me soon. Want to offer many thanks and karma to movingshadow152 for sending me this gem.

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Photo of Jason
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz red foiled brown bottle with a vintage date on the label.

A- Pours a thick off white head that looks so damn creamy and sticks to the glass well. Deep orangey amber shows some tiny bubbles struggling to rise to the top.

S- Fusel, paint thinner, cherries and lemon peel soaked in grain alcohol. Cooking wine?

T- Malty and sugary sweet, bordering cloying. Quick ruffle of hops, then the alcohol sets in with a slow warming feeling. Ripe berries with a layer of caramel show the sweetness off even more, mild tartness in the middle. Faint oak character ... vanilla and a earthy nutmeg.

M- Syrupy body with a viscous creamy smoothness.

D- All I could do was take little sips ... very heavy on the palate. A 12oz bottle could be split among two or three people as an after dinner drink.

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.74/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, there is a whole lot of something going on in this beer. At 14.5% Alc you would expect a big alchol bite but it is smooth and sweet. A nice deep dark brown color. Let this beer warm up a little bit and it is simply wonderful. I bought a few bottles for my beer 'cellar' and will let them age for a few years. This one is a keeper.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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 ypsifly
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red foiled 12oz bottled in '05, poured into a pint.

Clear copper with good carbonation that seems a bit slow on its way to a 2cm egg shell colored head That leaves thick lace along the inside of the glass.

Lots of alcohol and sweets in the nose. Has an almost brandy character. There's some yeast and wood in there too.

The alcohol doesn't burn, but it makes itself known. It jumps in after a sweet start and takes over. Oranges and sugar jump in for a fumey finish. Sticky sugary mouthfeel. Reminds me of DFH 120. The wood is present in the after taste.

This is a big ass beer, not session material, but a good sipper. It will be interesting to try this one after a year in the cellar.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a brilliantly clear, copper-amber color and, despite a fair amount of carbonation, only has a wispy thin tan head. The aroma is thick and concentrated with notes of port, brandy, alcohol, cherries, cinnamon and sundry other spicy notes, and a hint of buttery-vanilla oak. The beer is quite sweet and fruity, I get notes of cherries and tart grapes, very much in a brandy sort of fashion. The oak is quite subtle, and hits with a hint of buttery, tannic wood in the finish; what a great use of oak, it really is playing a minor supporting role here, just like it should. This is a lot more drinkable than I was expecting, it is certainly a sipper though, as it is quite thick and viscous. But it is pretty tasty for a high octane brew, and is infinitely more refined than the beast. There is a certain amount of hot alcohol in the finish but it is held in check by the fruity sweet notes that dominate this beer. This beer is really quite sweet, though the stickiness is held in check by the high alcohol, which helps to reduce the viscosity.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yowza this stuff is not for the faint of heart. Pours a ruddy orange-red color with a medium thin beige head and thin lacing. Huge malt and caramel aroma. Rich and chewy body and insanely sweet. This is definitely a sipper. Malt, caramel, maple syrup flavors along with a sweet sherry taste. The finish is long and sweet and is really the only place I noticed any oak. $8 or so for a 12oz bottle and I am pretty sure I would never want more than one in a sitting. This stuff will put hair on your chest.

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 1,482 ratings