Avery Samael Oak Aged Ale

Avery Samael Oak Ages AleTonight Laurie from 100beers30days joins me for a beer brainstorm. We both got a hold of bottles of Avery Samael. I actually had no idea that there were specific batches of the brew, and I most definitely had no idea I was sitting on a two year old bottle of the stuff!!!

Lost_in_Beer:I gotta go open this brew…hold on a sec
Lost_in_Beer:Holy crap…this beer is 15% ABV?
Lost_in_Beer:15.53% to be exact (according to the bottle)
100beers30days: Mine says 16.45% on the bottle!
Lost_in_Beer:I bet they are different batches!
100beers30days Mine says Batch 5 2009
Lost_in_Beer:I win! Batch 4. April 2008
Lost_in_Beer:This should make things VERY interesting
100beers30days: AHA! Well this WILL be interesting!
100beers30days: Jinx.
100beers30days: What type of glass are you using for this badboy?
Lost_in_Beer:A pint glass
100beers30days: I am using my Riedel Pinot glass which I love for tasting stouts, porters, and barrel aged beers. Really lets the aromatics out and the alcohol burn off a bit.
Lost_in_Beer:Speaking of aroma…what IS this smell?
100beers30days: Well, besides a good deal of heat, there is TONS of dark caramel on the nose
Lost_in_Beer:Yeah. Booze and dark fruit is what I was thinking
100beers30days: But also I am getting suprising notes of vibrant citrus, as if someone squeezed a lemon into the caramel. Some definite high floral notes too!
100beers30days: Boy you aren’t kidding! I feel like I’m sipping on a cognac…
Lost_in_Beer:No floral or citrus here. It’s all dark. Heavy-duty raisin flavor.

Avery Samael Oak Ages Ale

100beers30days: I hear you. Lets back up a sec. What is the color of yours?
Lost_in_Beer:Lighter than I expected – medium caramel color – has a red hue
100beers30days: Me too. Mine is an amber color with some red highlights.
100beers30days: If it was still (no carbonation), it could pass for a bourbon or cognac by eyeing it.
Lost_in_Beer:Much head?
100beers30days: No, next to zilcho head.
100beers30days: how cold is yours? Mine is warmed up a bit.
Lost_in_Beer:Pretty warm
100beers30days: Probably in the 60’s, about where I like to taste wine and heavier beers at
Lost_in_Beer:I let it warm up for at least 20 minutes before
100beers30days: Good deal. So we are both getting that alcohol heat!
Lost_in_Beer:The wording on the side of the bottle has me worried: “Samael is the prince of demons, the angel of death, accuser and destroyer”
100beers30days: Hahaha that does sound ominous….
100beers30days: I’m telling ya, my nose hairs are having a reaction to this nose. BUT I am getting some date and fig notes now…
Lost_in_Beer:You know what’s funny? This is oak aged, but I don’t get any oak.
Lost_in_Beer:Although I’ve never been good at picking up that aroma / flavor
100beers30days: I am definitely getting alot of oak, but then again this pinot glass has so much more surface area for swirling, so aromas just jump out…
Lost_in_Beer:I think I need to go sniff some trees. I think I just don’t know what I’m looking for in the smell
100beers30days: You getting any vanilla?
Lost_in_Beer:Some vanilla, yeah. Mostly in the flavor, not the nose

Avery Samael Oak Ages Ale

Lost_in_Beer:So you really can’t compare the two (style wise), but I recently had DFH World Wide Stout. 18% ABV. This Samael goes down about 100 times easier even though it’s almost as boozy.
100beers30days: What were your thoughts of the World Wide?
Lost_in_Beer:The 12oz bottle of WWS needs to be shared with a half dozen friends. Shot glasses, not beer or wine glasses.
Lost_in_Beer:It’s a super-sipper
100beers30days: Hahaha I concur. I had it when I met Sam @Stone for the Collaboration beer they are making. It was a monster for sure. I totally agree with you. It was like drinking port. Sip SLOWLY.
Lost_in_Beer:If you met Sam, then color me jealous.
100beers30days: Yeah, it was a fun night. It’s on the blog, check it out. So you think this is an easier sipper? Are you not overwhelmed by the alcohol?
Lost_in_Beer:Hell no! I’m almost done the bottle
100beers30days: Good Lord mate. You are a champion!
Lost_in_Beer:It’s funny…even 6 months ago I would have made a yuk-face at this brew
Lost_in_Beer:I never liked dark fruit but the more I get into craft beer the more it grows on me

100beers30days: I am thinking this 2009 need some serious aging. It’s just too raw and hot to enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I think it has INCREDIBLE potential, just not yet.
Lost_in_Beer:With I had both in front of me
Lost_in_Beer:to see what you are tasting
100beers30days: I wish we could taste them side by side too! I am DEFINITELY going to buy another one and age it a couple of years…
Lost_in_Beer:What’s your two sentence summary of the brew?
100beers30days: Wonderful potential with comforting aromas hiding just behind the alcohol. Needs to age.
100beers30days: You?
Lost_in_Beer:Booze Darkfruit Booze Darkfruit. Sweet! Me Likey.
100beers30days: I love it! So I am to potentially expect a more rounded, smoother nose and palate with dark fruit after a year?
Lost_in_Beer:It would appear
100beers30days: Well yeah then!!
Lost_in_Beer:Many thanks for joining me tonight
Lost_in_Beer:Great fun!
100beers30days: We definitely have to do this again. Lots of fun!

Avery Samael Oak Ages Ale

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Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.

5 thoughts on “Avery Samael Oak Aged Ale”

  1. The vanilla you were tasting was the oak. The barrels tend to impart a vanilla flavor. That's how you know a beer is aged in oak (or has vanilla added).

    Both this beer and WWS were probably not meant to be had by one person. You should age some WWS for a few years. It really smooths out and becomes super drinkable, though it still should be shared.

  2. Well the vanilla also depends on where the barrel came from. American oak adds the vanilla, french oak is a little more neutral. Hence the reason why Napa Valley often makes really crappy heavily oaked chardonnays that cost 50$ a bottle minimum. Hey, barrels are expensive. Oh and that bottle scares me every time I see it at BevMo. Have a good weekend!

  3. I like the back and forth chat style, although the yellow HTML carried into the RSS feed and was hard to read in google reader 😉

    I haven't tried this yet, but I *DID* just try the World Wide Stout, and while I drank the whole thing myself, it was a monster….felt like sipping hard alcohol.

  4. Jason:

    Thanks for the feedback. I also noticed the lousy coloring in Google Reader. I'll keep tweaking the colors till we get them right. :)


  5. I have had all 3 of the Demon series (even still have The Beast when it was in a bomber in the cellar), been to Avery Brewery too! Hope you have the opportunity to try all 3 of the demon series, plus their other brews! Hog Heaven is my all time favorite barleywine.

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