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The Bruery Provisions Series: Burly Gourd

Formerly brewed at The Bruery
Style: Sweet Stout
Placentia, California USA


on tap


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RATINGS: 110   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 200   ABV: 6.66%
A 6.66% ABV milk stout brewed using fresh pumpkins from the Cal Poly Farm Store, seasonal spices, aged on cedar chips, is the next installment in our Provisions Series of beers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (9548) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - MAY 1, 2012
Bottle back at the hotel at TAPNY, from a trade with someone. Forget who. Had this with the gang at very good dinner. Thanks Matt! Pours a deep black with a huge tan to beige head. Spice, roast, cocoa, cedar. Lots of cedar, very nice. A bit odd once I started drinking it, as all of that spice transitions into the lactose sweetness. Spicy cedar, more lactose. Cedar again on the finish. This was certainly weird, but in a very good way.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ngeunit1 (1555) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - APR 23, 2012
A - Pours a dark brown-ruby with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lace. S - Aroma is a mix of roasted milk chocolate, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, nutmeg, allspice, cedar, and a touch of vanilla. T - Starts off with roasted milk chocolate malts with some pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and a bit of vanilla. Through the middle, some more roasted sweet milk chocolate comes through with some cedar, and some stronger spices. The finish is a mix of roasted dark malts, spices, pumpkin, cedar, and vanilla. M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a roasted, spicy, and sweet finish. D - Very drinkable. I like the combination of pumpkin flavor and milk stout. I also think the balance of spices is just right here.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dreadnord (1012) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 19, 2012
Pours black. Body looks thin. Big tan head. Nose is cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate and fresh pumpkin pie. Taste is super sweet with mild bitterness to balance for a nice bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and smooth. Light body and long aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
markwise (5187) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - MAR 30, 2012
Thanks to dcschiller for sending this one along. Cheers, Dave! Pours a stout brown with a tan head. Nose is slight roast, some cinnamon, definite pumpkin, cocoa, chocolate, and light cedar that hides like a shy child behind the pumpkin pie spice, but it gains its confidence by the time the finish comes along. Flavor is pumpkin, chocolate, cedar, cinnamon, and cocoa. The cedar emerges a lot more as the beer warms up. Interesting!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rando7 (778) - Iowa, USA - MAR 21, 2012
Bottle pours dark brown with thick but brief tan head. Aroma roast and spices. Taste roast with nutmeg and a dark pumpkin and noticable cedar. Palate thick and full, a bit sticky. Finish prolonged mild roast and faint pumpkin. Alcohol not apparent.

OK but I’m not caring for the cedar and burnt pumpkin combination.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bov (11974) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - MAR 19, 2012
from Erzbierschof - pours a dark black beer under a solid and long lasting dark beige foam; beautiful lacework; the roasted coffeish aroma is dominated by solid notes of pumpkin, cloves and cinnamon; hints of wood in the background; a decent malt backbone and some sweetness; creamy palate; very long roasted aroma of coffee with more solid yet pretty well integrated spicy tones and pumpkin

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
joeneugs (5756) - Livermore, California, USA - MAR 17, 2012
Bottle. It pours dark brown with a massive three finger tan head of foam. The aroma has lots of holiday spices, cinnamon, nutmeg with underlying cedar aromatics. Maybe some cocoa and roast, but its hidden pretty well. The flavor is very bright with noticeable cedar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a spicy, roasted finish. Really nice. I loved the combination of cedar and spices. One of the best pumpkin beers I’ve had.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAR 13, 2012
750ml bottle. Pours a deep chocolate brown with some burgundy hints around the edges. The most noticeable part of the appearance is the enormous creamy tan head that sits atop the beer and goes nowhere throughout. First thing I noticed in the aroma is the spices, nutmeg and allspice mainly. The pumpkin is present but not as prevalent as the spices, and maybe a little chocolate and roasted dark malts. Taste is more of the same though there is a bit of tartness to the taste in addition to the pumpkin spices, fresh pumpkin and chocolate malts. Mouthfeel is lively, overcarbonated a little, which makes it come across as lighter bodied than it really is. Lots of spices and chocolate in this beer though the carbonation takes away from the heft more than it should. Good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
thirdeye11 (6064) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAR 10, 2012
(750ml bottle thanks to bu11zeye) near black pour with dark tan thin bubbles. Nose of cedar, pumpkin, nutmeg, spices, very aromatic and delicious smelling! Taste of cedar, aromatics, clove, dry chocolate malt, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Excellent!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 5, 2012
A steady, mostly soft pour into my tulip glass produces a voluminous, almost four-finger thick, pale brown colored head. The beer is a concentrated brown color that shows opaque when held up to the light. The aroma smells of dessert spices with notes reminiscent of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. A second take reveals a spicy, woody, distinctly cedar note here that boosts the overall spice character and even becomes as dominant as, or even more so than the spices. The total spice character is supported by more muted notes of toasted whole grain, touches of roast, and perhaps a hint of vegetal character (is that the squash or the roast malt contributing that). I like how the spices intermingle with the cedar and are supported by the toasted whole grain character here in the aroma; it definitely makes it inviting, if not overly beer like; I certainly wouldn’t have minded if more of the base beer, Milk Stout character had come through.

Somewhat light bodied, the beer doesn’t quite have the richness I was expecting for some reason. Spicy cedar notes and an astringency and woodiness to this beer and there is a roasted note that lingers in the finish. There is also a touch of tartness to this beer that seems contributed by the roast, some nutmeg notes and perhaps a hint of pumpkin character (though this last might be a stretch). The beer is still quite effervescent, despite it taking ten minutes for me to take my first sip. The prickly carbonation and carbonic acid mixes with the cedar and the bitter, burnt roast character to provide a sharpness to the finish that begs for some balancing, creamy malt character up front; unfortunately the malt richness just isn’t here. As the beer warms up, a nice, chewy, whole grain toasted character becomes more noticeable and helps to add some balance to the middle of this beer.

Cedar is definitely a weird beast in beer, because there are so few beers made with it there is a certain “ooh, that is interesting” quality to the beers that I have had with it, but having said that, I have had enough that I now want these beers to have an integrated, well executed use of the cedar. This beer has a touch too much cedar to be balanced; certainly a bit more malt richness would have helped, or better yet, cut back on the cedar. Having said all that though, this is still quite an enjoyable beer; one that I am happy to be drinking, but likely won’t go out of my way to purchase again unless I have heard that the balance of this beer has been tweaked with. This certainly has quite a bit of potential though.

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