Samael's Ale | Avery Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,463 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay
Read the review
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
Ratings:
1,463
Reviews:
645
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
14.43%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
421
For Trade:
22
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,463 |  Reviews: 645
Photo of beerpadawan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of duff247
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of MidtowneMarket
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of SirIPAalot
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of beergoot
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

April 2011 Batch 7 12oz bottle 15.31% ABV

Strange floaters bounce throughout the deep copper-red body. The head is fair, sticky, thin, with lacing down the glass. Strong toffee, caramel, and maple syrup aroma. Taste and mouthfeel smacks you with rich, syrupy sugars (similar in nature to the aroma), a very noticeable alcohol presence, and an all-encompassing bitterness. Definitely heavy bodied.

Except for the mystery floaters (yeast sediment?), this is pretty decent, high ABV barley wine. Bold and assertive across the board, yet pretty well-balanced overall. Complexity is almost an understatement with this beer. Worth checking out, but only in small doses...

 667 characters

Photo of WaydeRafnel
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of zac16125
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.59/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass - 2012 vintage

Appearance – The beer is served an amber color with a thin-just off white head that fades fast to leave only a small amount of lacing. While leaving little lacing, the beer clings to the side of the glass upon swirling giving it a “thick” look.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest to of sweet smells. Aromas of toffee, caramel, fruit (some dark and tropical) as well as aromas of vanilla and oak. These aroma overall, when mixed with some lighter biscuit, yeasty and boozy aromas make for one nice smelling brew.

Taste – The taste hits sweet and hard. There is a huge taste of caramel and toffee with a lighter bready flavor upfront. Some flavors of vanilla and oak are present at the beginning. As time advances the oak and vanilla get stronger. The caramel and toffee that were huge in the beginning decline some with a up-surgence of some of the fruit flavors. More to toward the end a lighter yeasty flavor with a moderate boozy flavor come to the tongue. While there is a boozy flavor that does warm the tongue, it is less then would be expected for a 15 % abv + brew. Overall a sweet warming feel is left on the tongue. Delicious.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thick and creamy with the carbonation level being on the lower side. Both are fantastic for accentuating the sweet, oaky and boozy flavors of the brew.

Overall – Overall, it is sweet, flavorful, warming and delicious. This is definitely one to sit back and sip over a long conversation with a friend (or a stranger at a bar that can become a friend). Give it a go if you have the chance.

 1,627 characters

Photo of BaconBandit
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of LotsofLupulin
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Danobold
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of st9647v3
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of retreminy
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.84/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 3. April 2007. Picked this up in late 07' as I recall. Have several samael's in the cellar.
Appearance: murky brown especially close to the end of the bottle.
Smell: huge and awesome! I must be a weirdo cause this brew gets little love on ba, and I consistently am floored every time I open one. Dark and bright fruits. Redolent and buttery with caramel.
Taste: all the promise of the nose delivered in a port like magic.
Overall: a transcendent creation. Avery take a bow.

August 2015 Edit. Drinking a Batch 5 from 2009. Holy shit this is good. No alcohol present at all.

 580 characters

Photo of Azzy
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this one sitting out in a liquor store after Avery had been out of Indiana for over a year. Lucky me, I hope…no idea how this one will turn out.

Batch 2, Bottled in May 2006?! That was over six years ago! It’s 14.5% ABV, so it should age well – one can only hope.

A: Deep amber pour without a lot of head; not surprising. At first, there’s a torrent of fizzy brown bubbles about an inch high, but they disappear pretty quickly.

S: Very boozy, very malty: fusel aromas mix with a big blast of caramel and milky vanilla. Touches of dried cherries, toast, date, and thick toffee, too, under a blanket of abundant oak aromas. Nice, but not outstanding – the alcohol could have been more hidden.

T: Caramel maltiness lays flat across the entire palate, giving each sip an almost cloying sugariness. Tastes of maple syrup, vanilla, and molasses mix in, with lemon tartness joining after for some reason. Odd, and a little off-putting. Tastes of oak and raisin push into the aftertaste, rendering a woody, sugary darkness to the finish. A very syrupy palate.

M: Today’s moving day, so I had no glassware except a single whiskey glass – ended up perfect for this beer. It’s a monster of a beer, warming on the way down and sticking to the sides of the mouth. Still, it has a strange drinkable quality for such a high ABV.

O: Strange beer, indeed: a powerhouse of booze that remains drinkable, all while being a sugary malt-bomb. If it weren’t for that startling lemon taste, I think I might like it more, but for now I’m glad I only got one bottle (for around $9).

 1,589 characters

Photo of kew
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of djtomain
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of BMMillsy
2.99/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from the shop. This poured a deep dark brown with pretty much no head. Aroma is plenty of harsh booze, caramel, dark fruity raisins. This was hard to finish. Heavy warming alcohol with extreme oak flavor. Roasted grain and maybe some rancid raisin flavor. The oak was just so heavy as to be totally unpleasant for me. I appreciate what was going on here being BIG and all, but unable to finish a 12-ouncer myself.

 420 characters

Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,463 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe