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Samael's Ale | Avery Brewing Company

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Samael's AleSamael's Ale
Very Good
1,476 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,476 |  Reviews: 648
Photo of strongaf
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of PicoPapa
3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Bottled in April 2007, Batch 3, ABV 14.9%. Pours a murky swamp water brown color with sediment floating around. No head. Minimal lacing. Big whiff of alcohol with some dark fruits, and some caramel. Has a bit of a nail polish remover smell. Taste is boozey brown sugar with some dark fruits, vanilla and oakiness at the end. Creamy mouthfeel. This hot, boozey taste along with the sweetness make this a real slow sipper. Can't imagine how hot this tasted fresh. I love barleywines and Im not scared off by high ABVs, but the booziness combined with the sweet brown sugar and dark fruit flavors are almost a bit too much for me with this beer. Overall im glad I tried it, and it was pricey but I wont be buying this again.

 734 characters

Photo of abraxel
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2005, poured in 2012. Let's see how this baby aged.

A - A vigorous pour yielded no head at all, just a little bit of fizzing around the edges that died out quickly. It's a muddy, reddish brown. Fine color, but no head is a bit of a deal-breaker for appearance.

S - Woo, I can sure smell the barrel. (Note: upon further inspection, this was made with oak chips, not a barrel. Oh well, it still tastes like a barrel.) Lots of boozy oak, with tons of sweet, slightly singed caramel, vanilla, and toffee. It smells delicious.

T - Sweet, sticky, fruity malts are prominent, with some oak notes and an interesting twinge of burnt marshmallow that lingers. This is rather different, more complex, yet slightly less tasty than the aroma. I like the additional complexity, but I don't love the fruity aspect of the malts, for some reason. To its credit, the alcohol is incredibly well hidden. If it weren't for the slowly encroaching buzz, I would never believe this is ~15%.

M - Pretty thick and very smooth, with no carbonation and negligible alcohol presence. A slight prickle of carbonation would be welcome, but that's not a huge flaw.

Overall, I quite enjoy this, but it's not amazing. I've never had this beer fresh, so I can't comment on the effect of seven years' aging, but it's still rather tasty after so much time.

 1,334 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively into a 20 oz giant Duvel tulip, bottled in April of 09. Pours a murky mahogany, with a 2 inch off white head, no lace to speak of. Smell is very strong dark fruits, rum soaked raisins, candy apple, and more sweet booze. Taste is wow. This is massive all the flavors in the nose, with a nice helping of oak and burnt brown sugar and molasses. Body on the large side, a surprising amount of life for the huge ABV, not too dry, and a sipper. That being said, it hides its alcohol well considering. This is a nice giant, a treat for the beer geeks.

 564 characters

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4/5  rDev +2.8%

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3.5/5  rDev -10%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of BWarrington
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a deep coppery amber. Two finger fine off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Looks good. Tempting aroma of oak and caramel malt. Full flavor of caramel malt, sweet dark fruit, dried dark fruit, vanilla and booze. Very smooth and well integrated. Medium to heavy bodied and creamy. I really like this, but had to drink it slowly. The high ABV makes this somewhat of a challenge to drink, but it tastes good.

 459 characters

Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of bonez05404
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of jwmarcum
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Chaney
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage: 15.82 ABV, but who's counting?

Served in a snifter.

A: Poured an extremely murky, caramel color, with more head than I was expecting considering the high ABV. In case you're wondering, the head color was off-white.

S: Holy cow this was strong! Honestly, this was a liquified stick of oak! Also, I got lots of intense caramel and toffee. All of this added up to a fairly good sensory experience.

T: More wood and sugar.... good grief. This was good, but sorta one dimensional, especially considering the price. Once again, the sugar content was very over-the-top.

M: A bit cloying, but not in the way you might think. In this instance, the cloy was oak! The lacing was slight and the mouth, sugar stain was annoying.

O: Yes, I saw right off that this was an English BW: It wasn't too hoppy and was rather understated in that regard. Additionally, the malt bit was caramel-like and very flavorful. I can almost envision the brewer wringing out a log made of oak every day into the brew kettle until the beer was about 45% oak, 35% pure sugar, 19% malt, and 1% hop.

 1,082 characters

Photo of matt062286
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of PugsandBeer
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Zraly
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at The Birch a few weeks back.

Poured a brilliant tawny with red highlights into a small snifter. Unexpected huge head but this was a nice surprise. The nose speaks of ripe fruit and a splash of spicey, feminine cologne. Yum.

The fruit nose carries into a fruit note and plays the main role in the general start and finish. Honey and cognac play second fiddle, while a deep, rich nutty-earthy note comes out to play. The alcohol is subtle, which spells danger. I found this highly drinkable for style. Full-bodied and low carbonation.

Really wonderful and special when one considers the seamless transition of flavors. The overall taste profile really knocks my socks off. I adore the cognac note and am totally down for serious love with a good stilton.

 771 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured unto a goblet (Bottled March 2010, batch number 6).

Appearance: Dark cloudy amber, the tan-white almost nothing head is roughly 1/10".

Smell: Pure malted wine, I am serious.

Taste: Malts and caramel, alcohol is pretty evident.

Mouth: Light to medium carbonation.

Overall: Very good beer, but not overall impressed. It appears that if you want just alcohol and not beer this one is for you. I am not knocking it just giving every one the heads up.Salud!

P.S. 2012 batch served on August 26th, 2015...absolutely a beer that incredibly improves with age. Sweet with a hits of butterscotch, sweet molasses which might come off a bit heavy. Re-review to the open your eyes.

 681 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
1.5/5  rDev -61.4%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samael's Ale
Avery Brewing Company

Pours a murky reddish mahogony color, short livid head forms and dies quickly. Aromas are full of over ripe fruits, strong caramel, butterscotch, loads of toffee, candy, brown sugar and sweet alcohol. In the taste, a lot of the same flavors, caramel reduction, buttery toffee, spicy alcohol, dry oak, tannins, pretty sweet and definitely strong. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and syrupy, full bodied. Overall, a worthy sipper, the flavors stick with you. Intended to be respected.

 515 characters

Photo of DCon
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 12 FL OZ bottle of this from The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, MO for $7.99. Poured from the Red Wrapped/ Black Labeled bottle w/ a the Samael Demon's wings in white & "Oak Aged Ale" in red into a 16oz Founder's Pint Glass. Has "ANNUAL RELEASE, APRIL 2011, BATCH No 7, 748 Cases" on the side of the label.

Aroma- An EXTREMELY rich and boozy aroma starts this one out. Tons of caramel, fruit, and molasses are blended together nicely with tons of strength. Oak then finishes off the smelling session nicely.

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger, dark tan colored head that has average retention. Has a dark amber/copper colored body and leaves good, sudsy lace behind. Definitely has "legs" in the body with all of its contents.

Flavor- A strong booziness and intense scotch taste starts this one off. Very nutty and caramel like also. A bit too much alcohol on the palate and during this tasting. Medium Bitterness level at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, Chewy, and has alcohol warming for sure. TONS of caramel finish out on the palate.

Overall Impression- After drinking the Mephistopheles Stout in this same "Demon's of Ale" series last Fall, I just had to try this guy. A nice Barleywine but has WAY too much alcohol and booze present. If they dumbed this down to 10% on the ABV's, it may be well rounded and appropriate for the style. Glad I tried this but would like to share 22oz/750mL Barleywines with friends, not 12oz bottles! A bit too harsh for the style.

 1,520 characters

Photo of therope
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of thecheapies
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle; bottled 04/21/11.

Snifter sees a bright-to-light, dark orange-red pour with a small head that falls pretty quickly (what do you expect at this strength?). Looks a little syrupy from the bottle. Extra points for the color--love the color!

Punchy oak and vanilla notes melt into dark fruit mysteries. Candied fruits, black raisin, raw sugar, treacle syrup, and boozy sweetness. Smells very aggreable.

This one's huge. Underlying booze warms over fragrant plums, vanilla, more raisin, dates, maple, hard-tack, and a tremendously appealing gooey caramel character. Oak balances the sweetness with a bright woody character. Some wine-y notes (like a full-bodied cabarnet). Hops are only hinted at, but provide some spicy/earthy bitterness. Slight astringent feel to the finish, from the use of oak chips (I find barrel aging not to carry this aftertaste)--(probably the only character keeping me from rating the taste a 5.0). This is a lovely oak-aged English Barleywine. Big flavors, fascinating complexity, and not overly boozy.

A warm (but not hot) sipper, for sure. Lack of necessary carbonation detracts from it. Thick, syrupy body with some lip-smacking stickyness. Yet, this is 15.31% beer that drinks like it's 10%.

I'm overly pleased with this bad-boy. I've only got one other, but that's gonna change. I'm about to pick a couple more bottles up. Worth the price. A gluttonous brew from barleywine fans across the world. Avery... +1 on the competition!

 1,474 characters

Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 1,476 ratings
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