Samael’s Oak Aged Ale, Avery Brewing

I couldn’t resist a beer that was 15% and aged in oak barrels. Lately I have been drawn in by the strong beer craze and this was the strongest beer I had ever seen. [Yes I know there are some much stronger beers out there.] My first thought on tasting this was whoa that is sweet. Probably the sweetest beer I’ve ever tasted and yet not too syrupy sweet. I expect some of my friends might find it too sweet but most of them would love it. Caramel flavors are at the forefront and amazing. I would describe this as liquid creme brulee. I would drink this over the best creme brulee I’ve ever tasted though. Much of the caramel flavor comes from the malts.
Samael's Oak Aged Ale, Avery Brewing Company.
Samael’s Oak Aged Ale, Avery Brewing Company.

On the back end there is some clear bourbon flavor that comes from the barrels it was aged in. This specific beer was from the 2012 batch so it has only been aging for a year. Some people reported the older batches to be a little too much in a lot of ways. I’m not sure if Avery has multiple batches available or if they just saved them that long. I don’t have that kind of self control when it comes to beer this good.

At a massive 15%, you are going to want to share this bottle with a friend or two. I decided to enjoy this particular bottle in some snifter glasses because my tulips were already dirty. Keep in mind that it costs $7.99 for a 12oz bottle at the place where I bought it. Normally that might sound like a lot but considering how strong this is and how unique it was completely worth it. Though I think Avery did an awesome job with some of the other beers in the series (I tried the Mephistopheles Stout last year) they didn’t blow me away like this one. It is rare that I get to taste a beer that is so unique in the flavors and yet this one did it.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.

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