So, as one tends to be, I was intrigued at the thought of a 12 oz. bottle of ale that costs 7 dollars and is 14.5% alcohol by volume. In fact I bought 2 different styles of the same brand. The first, which will be reviewed today was the Samael Oak Aged Ale. Don’t be put off by the abv., this is a surprisingly easy beer to drink, as opposed to say Avery’s tried and, to some, true Hog Heaven barley wine at a bit over 11% abv.
This ale did not have the contrived alcohol sweetness of a barley wine and in fact was sweet in a much more genuine way. The flavors actually, to our surprise, was plum-like in flavor and had berry nose. I would assume that the oak aging tempered this mighty ale, maybe even softened it a bit. A little odd for an ale to be oak aged, like a single-malt scotch. But it does not exhibit the same nuances that a scotch does, or the buttery big quality that a good California Chardonnay that has been treaed in the same way does.
This is definately not a chugging beer, not because it isnt smooth or high in alcohol, but rather because of its extreme price. If you are a hop head, then this beer is likely not your “cup of tea” if you will, but if you find that you have a few extra dollars in your pocket and want to treat yourself to something both different from the ordinary, yet something that will facilitate a good buzz as well as a uniqie twist on a quality ale, please give this a try. Check out the review of this beer’s siter brew “The Beast Grand Cru Ale” coming soon, oh and by the way, this one is 14.9% abv, bottoms up lads!