The Bruery 8 Maids-A-Milking

I don’t normally seek out the Christmas beers from The Bruery, but if I see one sitting on the shelf, I pick it up since they tend to be quite good. This was the 2015 selection.

8 maids

ABV: 11.3%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “8 Maids-A-Milking is the 8th beer in our ’12 Days of Christmas’ series, and we’d be udderly crazy to release anything but a milk stout. So we made an imperial milk stout to stand up to whatever Old Man Winter throws our way from now through 2019 with the final release of our series. 8 Maids-A-Milking is brewed with lactose, which is commonly referred to as milk sugar. It’s the only type of sugar that is unfermentable by yeast, which adds more perceptible creaminess and sweetness to the finished beer. This mouthfeel and sweetness is complemented by robust layers of milk chocolate, subtle spice accents from our house Belgian yeast and roasty, cafe elements indicative of our take on the style. Celebrate the seasons with the best of both worlds: enjoy some now, and lay a few down for up to 4 years to be enjoyed upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.”

Random: “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” is one of my least favorite Christmas songs.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass, but a slight crown on top of the body. The body was a dark brown with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had smoke, lactic acid, milk chocolate Hershey kisses and vanilla. I didn’t pick up any spice from the yeast. The taste had a lot of complexity. It started with milk chocolate and lactic acid, but also had a certain tanginess with raisins. Some creamy sweetness came through too with smoke and Belgian yeast. The spice at the end was light but gave it some depth. The body wasn’t as thick as I would have thought, but it did have a lot of carbonation. There was also the expected booze warming at the back of the throat. It had a lengthy finish with cocoa and creaminess. The bottle was $12.99, which came to $.52 per ounce, which isn’t bad for a beer from The Bruery. I enjoyed this beer, as did Val, although I wish it were a bit thicker.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0


The Bruery 7-Swans-A-Swimming

This was the beer that I had last night to celebrate the end of quarter. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 11%

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “7 Swans-A-Swimming is the 7th beer in our ’12 Days of Christmas’ series. For this verse of the story, we chose the path we don’t often take – we brewed to style. No bells, no whistles, just our best take on the Belgian Quadrupel style. Brewed with nothing but water, malt, yeast, hops and a bit of Belgian dark candi sugar, this beer may not be as out-of-the-box as some of our past winter brews, but it’s just as tasty. Rich and complex, this robust dark ale juggles notes of raisin bread, dried apricots, burnt caramel and roasted pecans. The sweet flavors provide a full body and the bright yeast wafts the sweet holiday notes out of the glass, into your life. 7 Swans-A-Swimming is a perfect holiday sipper. Delicious right now, but suitable for aging up to 5 years, upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.”

Random: I am a huge fan of having glasses that match the brewery of what I’m drinking.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on my Bruery tulip glass. The body was a dark brown with a lot of visible carbonation. The nose had candi sugar, figs, dates and some alcohol. The taste had a bit more going on. I picked up the same candi sugar, figs and dates in the nose, but also found some cherries, apricot and yeast. Brown bread came through at the end of the sip. It also had some booze warming in the back of the throat, but not as much as I would guess given the ABV. The body was lighter than I expected with lots of carbonation. It had a long finish with dark fruit and cherries. I was impressed by this beer and really enjoyed it. It was on the cheaper end of the spectrum of The Bruery beers. It was $15.49, which broke down to $.70 an ounce, which still wasn’t cheap, but I would get another one of these to age. If you still see it on the shelves, it’s definitely worth it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

The Bruery Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged

We managed to pack two boxes today. My plan is to pack things little by little so we’re not pressured to pack everything at once. We also threw a bunch of things out, which means less things to pack. Anyways, back to the beer.


ABV: 14%

Style: Smoked Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with a hefty amount of smoked malt, Smoking Wood is a delicious demonstration of what wood has to offer when it comes to beer, both in the malting process and the aging process. This imperial smoked porter is brewed with rye malt, contributing to a full body and light spiciness. Toasty oak, caramel and vanilla flavors balance the smokiness, contributing to an intense yet refined flavor profile. There are both rye barrel and bourbon barrel aged variations of this beer which are layered with a rounding richness from the spirit that once resided inside of the barrel.”

Random: My other half is making me Heath bar brownies later. I’m very excited.

This beer poured with a half a finger of light brown head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on my Teku glass. The body was a dark brown with high carbonation visible. The nose was like sticking your head into a bourbon barrel. It was smoky and oaky. There was a lot of smoked malt and dark chocolate, but the name of this beer was definitely accurate. The taste was even more smoky. It had vanilla and oak and lots of bourbon. It also had a slight medicinal taste to it and had a lot of booze warming that hung around for awhile. After a few sips, the medicinal taste was determined to actually be peat. The body was thinner than necessary with high carbonation. The finish was long with smoke and bourbon. If you like smoky beers or bourbon, this is a beer you will like. But, for $25.99 a bomber, this was an expensive beer which broke down to $1.18 an ounce. Despite this, I’m glad I tried it, but due to the price point, I won’t be rushing to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Preservation Series: Ignis Fatuus

This was sitting on the shelves at Joe Canal’s. I’ve never gotten anything from the Preservation series, so I was quite excited. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 8.3%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Ignis Fatuus is a special brew created just in time for Autumn activities. The base is a rich, robust porter that was brewed with an addition of puréed pumpkins. Like all great pumpkin recipes, we then added a subtle addition of seasonal spices to balance with the roasty character. We invite you to enjoy the nuanced flavors while telling ghost stories around an illuminating jack-o’-lantern.”

Random: I am not all about this snow. I guess it’s pretty?

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black and impossible to see through, so ascertaining the carbonation was impossible. The nose was not like the typical pumpkin beer. It was more porter than anything. There was roasted malts, chocolate, light Autumn spice and then a slight sour note. The taste had more spice notes to it, with cinnamon and nutmeg and gourd flavors, but quickly went into roasted malts and coffee. Although I picked up a lot of typical pumpkin spices, this was a peculiar beer and had the same tart note that I picked up in the nose. The body was thin with heavy carbonation. The finish was long with roasted malts and tartness and light gourd. This beer was alright, but for $33.99 a bomber, I would definitely not have this again. This price broke down to $1.55 an ounce, which is insanity, especially for the fact that this was just an alright beer. This was definitely a disappointment.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Bruery Tart of Darkness

I haven’t done a beer run in forever. I’ve really been trying to drink down the 5 beers that are still in my beer fridge that I haven’t reviewed. But, since there was football on, I had to grab some beer for my sister. Since I had an extra hand, I saw that this gem had just come in and I knew it was coming home with me. Despite the price point ($19.99 for the bomber), I’ve never seen a bad review on it, plus I needed a dose of brett. Let’s see how it fared.


ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We brewed a stout (no, not Black Tuesday, this one is only 5% abv if you can believe it), but we then decided to throw it into oak barrels…and added our special blend of souring bacterias and yeasts. The result is a perfectly tart yet awesomely dark and roasty sour stout. Not a style you see too often – and in our opinion, not a style you see often enough.”

Random: I’m having a craving for a good burger. I haven’t had one in forever.

This brew poured with a three finger tan head that dissipated very slowly. It left decent lacing behind on the glass. The body was an inky almost black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had big notes of brett with warm oak and some cocoa. The first sip was really tart with huge notes of brett. As it opened, some roastiness came through at the end of the sip with coffee and cocoa. The flavor profile was really nice and well-done. The body was on the thinner side with heavy carbonation. The finish was long with brett. This beer was just divine really and I easily finished the bomber. If you see it, definitely grab one. It’s a really shining star of The Bruery lineup.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

The Bruery White Oak

Yet another day of staying late at the office. The only good thing? I get to leave early on Saturday (supposedly). So, here’s a beer that I picked up awhile back and really heard nothing about. On balance, I either love beers from this brewery or I hate them. The major thing that I have against them is the price point, which can be a bit…inflated, to say the least. So, these are my thoughts on this one.

ABV: 11.5%

Style: Wheatwine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “White Oak is a blended beer– 50% wheatwine aged in Bourbon barrels (we call it “White Oak Sap”), and 50% Mischief (our Golden Strong Ale). Vivid caramel, coconut and vanilla flavors blanketed in a crisp yet robust wheat ale, White Oak is an exercise of balance.”

Random: Dom Brown is on fire for the Phils right now. He hit another home run this afternoon.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated quite slowly. It left a crown on top of the body and some nice lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy light orange color with lazy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was delicate. I got notes of coconut and bourbon. The bourbon was relative smooth and light on the nose. The taste was a magnified sample of the nose. I got coconut and bourbon first and then some apricot and caramel came through with yeast finishing up the sip. The booze was absolutely undetectable on this one, which was really nice. The body was a medium thickness with very light carbonation, which was my only complaint. It could have used a bit more fizz. The finish was long and sweet. Although I really enjoyed this one, it would have been a great beer to split with friends, especially given the booze.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Saison Rue

Okay, what is up with the weather? Let’s celebrate spring by having 2-4 inches of snow? Luckily, I don’t have to go to work today, but this is just ridiculous. I’m beyond done with the snow. I like winter, but not when it lasts this long. So, what am I doing on this snowy day? Watching documentaries and blogging. Sounds like a plan.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: This is a year-round offering from The Bruery.

Random: I picked this one up because I’ve been into The Bruery lately. They really have some outstanding beers.

This poured with a three finger white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy dark orange color with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose had burnt candi sugar, apricot and some spice. No real brett to it though. Rye wasn’t apparent either. The taste was really fantastic. What is it with me and having great beers lately? Anyways, I got coriander, Belgian yeast, mild clementine with allspice, and then the brett comes through with rye. I have to say, the brett is relatively mild, as is the rye, but it works for the brew. The body was on the thicker side of saison with heavy carbonation. The booze is very well hidden. The finish is long with spice and rye. Had I not had some of the other offerings from this brewery, I would have given it a perfect score. I would have preferred a little more brett to this, but I still really enjoyed it. Definitely worth a try!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0