Samael's Ale | Avery Brewing Company

Samael's AleSamael's Ale
Liked This Beer
3.89 w/ 1,471 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,471 |  Reviews: 648
Photo of retreminy
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.84/5  rDev +24.4%
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 +2.8%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
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).

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Photo of kew
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of djtomain
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of BMMillsy
2.99/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

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Photo of ABokononist
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Lantern
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of ssjkyle
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of Jason_Quad
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ajs4bd
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of tut2528
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared with one other person

A: mahogany in appearance with minimal clarity, moderate carbonation, slight head formation.

S: huge toffee, brown sugar, raisins, plums, oak and vanilla. All seem very well balanced. I think the biggest surprise was the 15.31% ABV. It was noticeable, but at the same time balanced nicely with all the big sweet characters.

T: I get big deep vanilla, oak, toffee, and some butterscotch characters. The alcohol definitely comes out more here than in the nose, but again, a huge amount of sugary sweetness keeps the alcohol much lower than what was expected. Strong beer, but balanced quite nicely.

M: Big, full-bodied, the sugary sweetness allowed me to want to continue to sip away on it. Slightly sticky to the teeth and the alcohol is felt along the upper lips and at the back of the cheeks.

O: This was a surprise because I thought the big alcohol content would be more prominent in the taste. But the massive sweetness really keeps it mellow. It’s a big, strong, sweet beer. As the beer warmed up, I did not find much change from the initial aspects. I can see that this brew might be a bit much for one person, but being shared, this beer is very enjoyable.

 1,211 characters

Photo of overplayed
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of AustinBrooks
1/5  rDev -74.3%

Photo of Aml42000
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy amber color with a thin, off white head.

S- The oak dominates the nose. Vanilla and cigar box aromatics are present and it is enjoyable to sniff in general. It doesn't evolve much as it warms up which was surprising and a bit disappointing.

T- Very rich flavors of caramel, banana and vanilla. Very boozy which isn't surprising with an Abv of 15+%. I actually enjoyed that aspect on this beer more than I normally do as it was a nightcap and had the feel of a nice whiskey or brandy.

M- Surprisingly high carbonation added a good counterpoint to the rich, sweet flavors and the hot finish. It also kept this from showing too thick and flabby.

O- A nice effort. Not something I'd look for every day, but a unique Barleywine- style ale that was a pleasant way to wind down an evening. I would purchase this again.

 827 characters

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of mrsimm
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Batch #8.

4.5 A: Lightly hazed plum color. Two fingers of beige, frothy/creamy head. Retention is very good given the ABV. A decent sized ring of lacing is left. Some small yeasties throughout.

4.0 S: Strong toffee, caramel, and fruits. Banana is the strongest followed by plum, well, sugar plums, followed by figs and candied oranges. Oak and maple syrup. Brown sugar and pickled beets. Spicy yeast. Boozy, but as expected.

3.5 T: Taste encompasses all of the components of the nose. The strongest are banana, caramel, sugar plum and candied orange, spice from the yeast, figs, and brown sugar. Super sweet with a formitable booziness. It's tasty and superbly complex, but it's too damn sweet to enjoy all 12 oz.

3.5 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Booze leaves a bit of harshness in the feel and the sweetness is a bit cloying. I'd prefer this to be a bit drier with the booze better hidden.

3.5 D: This is too sweet and boozy for me, but it was worth a try.

 998 characters

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of josephwa
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of Stumpy29er
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out into my goblet a lightly hazed garnet color with a brief two finger tan head that settles back down to a persistent collar with minimal lacing left behind.
Smells heavily of sweet brown and candi sugars and caramel, has lesser amounts of dark fruits, coconut, oak wood and alcohol booze. I'm having a hard time finding any hopping whatsoever in this nose, I think its been buried underneath the ABV.
Taste is a thick caramel smack in the face (despite a thick body texture, the carbonation is adequately high to keep this from being syrupy) with medium amounts of vanilla and coconut boozy oak wood in the mouth. Gets rather fiery in the mouth, as one might expect from the high ABV, and this (along with the simplicity of the flavor profiles) is the chief flaw of the brew.

However, it is certainly not a terrible beer either. If you want your eyebrows to light on fire and like to be punched in the face with a fist made out of soft caramel candy that has been rolled around in oak chips, than this is the brew for you.

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71.7% out of 100 with 1,471 ratings
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