Another Visit to The Bruery
Earlier this week, I returned to The Bruery to drink some more beer there. One thing I enjoy about The Bruery, in addition to it brewing the best beer in Orange County, is that it rotates their beer offerings frequently, so there are always new beers available.
For my first flight of beer, I started off with Sour in the Rye 2013 (7.6% ABV), an oak-aged sour rye ale, of which I loved the sourness, light and fruity. Next up was Mischief (8.5% ABV), a hoppy Belgian Golden Strong, good, and a bigger body than the Sour in the Rye 2013. Then I had the Trade Winds Tripel (8.6% ABV), a Belgian-style tripel with thai basil, the thai basil made it seem interesting, especially for a tripel. I’m not sure that I would get it again, but I’m also not sure that I wouldn’t. Then I had the L’Deracola (7.1% ABV), cola-inspired dark ale with lime and spices, weird nose, but definitely get the lime on the palate along with a cola-ish taste. It is not an unusual beer, but I applaud the effort to mimic cola. To finish off the flight, I then had the White Oak (11.5% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged wheat wine, Belgian Golden blend, which was simply delicious.
Then, our group magically got access* to the beers for the Reserve Society Exclusives and to the Hoarders Society Exclusives. As a group, we all got different things, getting all six of the Reserve Society Exclusives and one of the two Hoarders Society Exclusives. Off of the Reserve Society Exclusives, we went down the list, starting with the Filmishmish (5.6% ABV), a sour blonde ale aged in oak with apricots, was light and delightful, although not as torquey of a sour. The Sans Pagaie 2015 (6.6% ABV), a sour blonde ale aged in oak with cherries, was excellently lovely, and that’s an understatement (maybe LOVELY would be more accurate). The cherries in this ale tasted delectfully of a light cherry pie. While it is easy to say that this would make for an excellent beer on a warm summer day, this beer could be enjoyed year-round – it’s fantastic!
Next up was the Tart of Darkness with Cherries and Vanilla (11.2% ABV), a sour stout aged in oak barrels with cherries and vanilla beans, with a nose certainly of cherries and vanilla and was great. The Chronology #12 (16.7% ABV), an old ale aged in bourbon barrels for one year, reminded me of a barleywine, as it was big, boozy, and malty. Next up was the Melange #12 (16.8% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged blend with cacao, vanilla, and hazelnuts, definitely let the cacao and vanilla shine through. The Grey Monday 2015 (18.5% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout with hazelnuts, was boozy, yet smooth. Also, a word that both one of my drinking buddies and I independently used to describe this beer was “sharp” – granted, it’s hard not to have a 37-proof beer without it being quite boozy and intense. Finally, off of the Hoarders Society Exclusives, we got the Melange #10 (15.0% ABV), an ale 40% aged in bourbon barrels with chiles, chocolate, and cinnamon, which was yummy, with the chocolate and cinnamon being noticeable.
Off of these two lists, the Sans Pagaie 2015 was really awesome and incredibly enjoyable. Also, all of the beers were great.
Finally, for some reason, despite having had the best beers in the house, I went back to the main menu for my third flight. Fortunately, I went for the bigger beers. I started off with So Happens It’s Tuesday (13.6% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged stout, which is always enjoyable. This time was no different, as it is a beautiful beer! Next up was the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Smoking Wood (13.3% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged imperial rye smoked porter, which was remarkably smooth and good. Continuing on in the smoking wood section were still three more: Blueberry Smoking Wood (12.8% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged smoked imperial porter with blueberry, cacao, and maple syrup, was big, boozy, and fruity. The Coffee Smoking Wood (13.5% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged imperial porter with coffee and vanilla, definitely featured the coffee and vanilla, with a full-flavored character. And, finally, I had the Mole Smoking Wood (13% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged smoked imperial porter with traditional Mexican spices and chiles, which is really an incredibly AMAZING beer! It is spicy and so incredibly flavorful!
I visited The Bruery this week to introduce a visiting brewer to this great place and it did wonderfully well. Getting access to the special lists was a really special treat (especially for me to experience the Sans Pagaie 2015 (amongst others)) both for me, as well as for the others in our drinking group. Of course, the White Oak and So Happens It’s Tuesday were always pleasers in my book! I look forward to returning.
* I’m happy to reveal your name (you know who you are) and Thank You!