Beer Review: The Bruery Fruet – Warning. Contains Alcohol.

Next up, The Bruery’s Fruet:

Several years ago, I made a bet with a friend that at his current rage setting he wouldn’t make it to age 40. The loser had to buy the winner a beer of the winner’s choice. Upon my insistence, he arranged for his estate to pay-up if I won. What? That’s fair.

In the end, he made it to 40. (I know. Bummer. Right?) He left the beer choice to me and said we could share it. So, I thought it was only fair that I buy the beer I was eyeing-up to ask of his widow: The Bruery’s Fruet.

Fruet is the Bruery’s 4th anniversary ale. They use the same “old ale” recipe each year, with portions of prior years’ versions (which have been marinating in bourbon barrels) blended in. This is the first year the beer is 100% bourbon barrel aged.

As for the name, each year’s beer is named after the traditional anniversary gift for that year (papier, coton, cuir, etc.). Luckily, the Haybag and I are 4 years ahead of the Bruery. We will be to our 14th anniversary before the Bruery blows my cover that pool table is not really the traditional 10th anniversary gift. Also, I have a friend who will be glad to be even further ahead. He’s been telling his wife for years that the 20th anniversary is…ummm, we’ll just say it may be illegal in several States and it falls under beerbecue’s new profanity edict.

I could smell the booze the second I opened it. It had a weak, big-bubbled, tan head that receded quickly to a ring and a bit of film at edges. It’s cloudy brown in the middle; and at the edges, up to light, it’s orange-brown…almost like Grand Marnier. The smell is ridiculous: Port, rum, raisins, overripe apples, and dates. The taste is divine: Sweet maltiness (but never cloying), caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, singed brown sugar, dates, bananas flambé, and booze. It has pretty low carbonation, but just enough. It feels big, but not syrupy at all; and the booze is present (15.5%) but, miraculously, not overpowering.

This stuff is ridiculous, and I don’t regret the $30+ price tag one bit. Interestingly, the bottle states it can be aged for decades. And it tastes just angry enough now to realize how much it could mellow over the years. I imagine, for someone with patience and a cellar, it could end up sublime.

The Haybag: You do know I read this, don’t you?


Beer Review: The Bruery/Stone/Elysian – Citrueille Celeste de Citracado

Next up, the product of a collaboration between The Bruery, Stone, and Elysian, Citrueille Celeste de Citracado:

F-ing 33 cents per ounce.

Let me start by saying I love all three of these breweries. This collaboration is like a freaking rock supergroup. That being said, even the best supergroups (on paper) can put out some real turds. Case in point: Whole Lotta Yoko by The Dirty Mac (Lennon, Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards). Somehow, Lennon convinced the rest of these rock gods to let Yoko contribute to a song. And if you have never listened to the free-form vocal stylings of Yoko Ono, you are missing out (start at about 1:20):

Apparently, this beer is brewed with pumpkin, yams, toasted fenugreek, lemon verbena, and birch bark. It pours watery and dark brown with a small, tan head. It smells herby, earthy, and a little lemony. And It tastes like birch mulch and a musty lemon, with some medium-bodied coffee and slight pumpkin lurking in the background. There is very little sweetness and it has a fairly thin mouthfeel. Me no likey.

It seems some people like it, though. There are some solid reviews of it on Ratebeer and Beeradvocate (although, there is quite a bit of applause at the end of that Whole Lotta Yoko song, too). It’s also worth noting that this beer has a large ambivalent contingency. But I refuse to be shamed into not hating this beer, like it’s Mr. Holland’s Opus, or something. It’s OK to hate some beers….and that sappy, pandering piece of crap, Mr. Holland’s Opus.

You suck!

The Haybag: I think it’s OK. It’s almost like an interesting medium-bodied coffee. I should note that I cheered when that video was over, too. But I don’t know what kind of cold-hearted bastard hates Mr. Holland’s Opus.

Beer Review: The Bruery’s 4 Calling Birds

Next up, we have the Bruery’s 4 Calling Birds, which is the fourth beer in their 12 Days/Years of Christmas series. All of the beers in the series thus far are designed to age well until 12 Drummers Drumming comes out.  So in 2019, you can sit down and get housed on 12 bombers of 10% abv beer, all at the perfect age.

Fuck that. We drink beers ’round here. We once aged a bottle of North Coast Old Stock Ale. It was torture. So we aged 4 Calling Birds for three days.

It pours a dark brown, almost black, with a quickly-receding tan head and a faint smell of ginger, malt, and RC Cola. It tastes gingery, with occasional hints of chocolate, toffee, and molasses. I really like it. But, unfortunately, it has a lingering aftertaste that is like I tripped some Robe about 10 minutes ago.

Fear and loathing in my kitchen.

Maybe age it, after all.  I am guessing that will mellow it out.  And perhaps the trippin’ Robe taste was just the licorice that the Bruery advertises in the description on their website.

The Haybag: It starts out fine; but in the middle and towards the end there is a faint odd taste lurking in the background, kind of like Li’l Lisa’s Patented Animal Slurry or ground-up mackerel.*  Although, as it warmed this went away.  Maybe it’s better to drink it at the suggested 50 degrees.

*It should be disclosed that the Haybag has some taste trauma flashback issues stemming from a prescribed powdered pregnancy supplement that tasted like ground-up mackerel with a touch of orange creamsicle. Needless to say, it was not the best pairing with morning sickness. And I think something about this beer triggered a flashback. So, as long as you have not had that stuff, you will not share the Haybag’s experience with this beer.