Samael's Ale | Avery Brewing Company

very good
1,463 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,463 |  Reviews: 645
Photo of bonez05404
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of jwmarcum
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Chaney
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
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 -22.7%

Photo of PugsandBeer
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Zraly
4.58/5  rDev +18%
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 +9%
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 -61.3%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of DCon
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of therope
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of thecheapies
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
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

Photo of poppyjohn
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

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.

 1,575 characters

Photo of Boomer4ES
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Smurf2055
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a four once taster glass at Uber Tavern, 2010 vintage. Appearance was dark amber, almost ruby. Lot’s of white head, probably two to three if it was a full pour. Leaves a gentle lacing, pretty viscous. Aroma was boozy but seemed pretty balanced. Taste was a lot of oak, and a lot of booze. Very slight hints of vanilla, cherry, and spice. It seems like the booze gets weaker as it warms, but hits again on the way down. Palate was surprisingly lively for an aged barlywine style. Lots of carbonation for it. Leaves a lingering flavor, mostly oak and alcohol though. Overall I am glad I tried it, but it’s not one of my favorites. There’s a lot going on and I’m not a fan of all of it. I don’t feel there’s enough balance to pull it off. Still very flavorful and I can see the allure to it. They were smart to only pour this in four ounces, this one can be devastating.

 891 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of TeamUgly
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of mhjets
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of millelacsmark
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ncketchum
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip

A - pours a dark copper with tons of sediment. orange tinted head which dissipates completely

S - Sweet, carmel up front with alcohol to follow

T - big time carmel initially, then oakiness comes through with the burn of alcohol in the end, more like a brandy then a beer with the aftertaste with the amount of alcohol

M - smooth, little carbonation, big taste that lingers for some time

O - Legalpete put it very well a couple of reviews ago - "a sweet flamethrower." I thought this was a pretty solid english barleywine, maybe a little too sweet to be one of my favorites in terms of barleywines, but altogether not bad at all.

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Photo of Kahlerbock
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of RedHaze
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

Photo of fatmcb1
2.7/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a Lost Abbey snifter

Pours a light copper, amberish color with a khaki head that does not linger and leaves no lacing.

Very sweet with tons of caramel malt, brown sugar, toffee, and vanilla. Alcohol is apparent throughout.

Malt, sugar, more malt, caramel, and alcohol. Not much complexity. Alcohol and malt overpowers any oak aging aspects that this beer is supposed to have.

Medium body with low carbonation.

I was really disappointed with this beer, as I really enjoyed the others in the Avery Demons of Ale series.

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