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 Twal
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in May 2006, Batch #2.

Served at cellar temp in a goblet.

Samael's has a beautiful gem-like amber color with great clarity. The head is fizzy and short-lived which is unsurprising given the high alcohol content.

Aroma is strong and boozy, even from arm's length away. Rich and sweet with almost a whiskey quality of oak and vanilla.

Flavor is alo very intense with caramel, cherries, and vanilla. There is a winey taste, possibly from slight oxidation, but it's a pleasant quality. Tannins also lead to a resemblance of wine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and syrupy with lowish carbonation. The alcohol is not hidden by any means but it isn't totally overpowering either. I'm sure it has mellowed over the past 5+ years.

Overall a really nice strong barelywine but rare, expensive, and special. One is a nice experience but I doubt I will buy another.

 863 characters

Photo of savagepm
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of mdvatab
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated May 2006 obtained from local shop
Poured into snifter

Aroma: Deep, sweet, rich maltiness, butterscotch, caramel, and a touch of booze. I can tell this one's going to be a sweet, boozy sipper.

Appearance: Crystal clear reddish-copper body. Head pours 1/4 finger thick, but goes away almost immediately. No lacing, but this brew leaves a nice clear coating on the inside of the glass after each sip.

Flavor: Rich caramel, sweet tea, sweet, sugary dried dark raisin. Carmelized baked pineapple. Alcohol comes through a bit at the end, but not anywhere close to what one might expect from a 16%+ ABV brew. Alcohol is very well-integrated with the sweetness, which remains on the lips after each sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full, slick mouthfeel. Medium-low carbonation. Alcohol is warming, but not hot.

Overall: A tasty, enjoyable sipper. Definitely not a beer that I'd feel like having more than one of in a sitting, but highly enjoyable nonetheless. Avery did a great job with this one!

 997 characters

Photo of Boonedoggle
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Notes: April 2011 Release, Batch No. 7

Serving Type: 12 fl oz into brandy snifter

Appearance: Pours dark amber with thin light brown head. Very gorgeous color.

Smell: Very sweet with hints of raisins. I can definitely smell the oak cask in this.

Taste: Sweet and smooth with a whiskey taste that lingers. Each drink warms the soul.

Mouth: Very medium bodied that dances on the tongue.

Overall: This is probably my favorite in the Avery Demons Series. This is a phenomenal beer that should age really well. A vertical of this in 3 or 4 years should be amazing.

 565 characters

Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
2.89/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, bottled in April 2009 Batch 5, poured into a Snifter.

A: Poured a one fingered Rusty Auburn, which is a nice rarity. This is beyond cloudy and the color that it makes is just beautiful especially with its nicely rising carbonation.

S: That nice strong alcohol hits the nose and this definitely makes me want to drink this. It feels as if a cherry jam has stuck to an oaken barrel. Avoid swirling though because if you do a strong rubbing alcohol smell arises after this drink has warmed.

T: A high alcohol beer such as this one always make me think of cherry cough syrup. This is quite sad for me. That oaken taste reminds me of a bourbon though. High alcoholic beers just have a taste that just never seems that pleasant for me.

M: That mouthfeel is super-sticky and it feels thick as well.

O: This is something that I feel as if needs to be stored for a couple of years for the alcohol to calm down. Every time I take a sip I am just like wow, that's an insane amount of alcohol. This is something that should be passed on especially with it's high price tag of roughly $10 for a single bottle.

 1,119 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from the tap in a 5 oz wide mouth glass. I assume the most recent vintage.

appears a clear brilliant dark copper color, with thin white head. very boozy aroma, but with flavors of plum, caramel. taste is alcohol, sweet sugar, a bit of oak. thick sticky mouthfeel.

Definitely "hot", and a sipper. but tasty, and I can only imagine gets better with age.

 361 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of jak
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of mcorwin
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Nightrain87
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of StevenSpringer
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of shanghai55
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of axeman9182
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage, on tap at the Rattle n Hum. This one was served in an 8 oz goblet.

Samael's pours an opaque red-orange to mahogany, with just a light bit of cream colored head. The nose has some of the expected elements, but in the end falls a little dull. Specifically, it smells of caramel and vanilla, but the aroma is a bit weak, and could definitely stand to be a bit more varied. The taste though, is just that. In addition to the caramel and vanilla, the flavor profile is rounded off with notes of burnt sugar and alcohol soaked figs and other fruits. Especially that boozy fruit note jumps out with each sip, which I guess is to be somewhat expected given the high octane nature of the beer. Unlike the similarly big Mephaddict I just had, this one comes across as being a bit underattenuated. While the carbonation is dialed in nice and low for maximum maltiness, the body firmly crosses the line into being too sugar-syrupy. The result is that the beer has an almost cloying edge to it. I love me a good English Barleywine, but I think Avery might be served to dial down the intensity on Samael's a bit.

 1,114 characters

Photo of mhaugo
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of tbizzle0
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of mhenson42
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of PhatAtUT
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of beveritt
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a small snifter. Label is typical of the Avery fallen angel series and depicts a barely visible silver angel with a sword on a black background. Mine lists the ABV as 15.53% vice the ABV listed here. Brewed April 2008, so this baby is almost 4 years old.

Appearance: Pours with minimal head; just a smattering of light tan foam. The beer itself is the color of tarnished copper and nearly opaque with some haziness. Significant sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt with strong notes of tart cherries and distinct oakiness.

Taste: Sweet caramel malt upfront with undertones of vanilla and a peachy fruitiness. This melds into a middle of intensely bitter hops that seem almost subdued against the strong malt backbone. Sweet toffee finish lingers well after each sip.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is excellent; very thick and viscous.

Drinkability: This intense sipper is perfect for a cold winter's night and could easily stand more time in the cellar. Not available in my state due to ABV (thanks Jeebus) but I would certainly pick some up if ever I saw it again.

 1,156 characters

Photo of tripledbrew
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of bpattt
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of coreymcafee
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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