Drakes Apple Brandy Barrel Olde Ale



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RATINGS: 98   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 307   ABV: 10.24%
This is an Old Ale that was brewed in Sept 2005. It has been aging in a barrel which housed an Apple Brandy from our friends at St Georges Distillery for 11 months.

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ClarkVV (6757) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 31, 2017
Bottle from KrausenJockey and Aspidites drunk on 5/10/17.
Pop of the cap yields a light hiss...thats good. Pours a lovely maroon-to-burgundy brown color with great clarity leaving the solidified sediment behind. A small ring of beige bubbles forms but disappears quickly.
Wow. A stunning aroma rises up free from nearly any oxidation, much to my shock and delight. Wonderful amounts of apple brandy perfectly wedded to toffee and caramel-like malt notes creates an amazingly elegant nose. Its rich but balanced and shows almost no booziness. Spice, wood, raisin, prune and other boisterous berry notes perk up a nearly juicy apple-vanilla character. Nearly a perfect nose and its hard to believe how this has somehow manages to escape the clutches of oxidation for so long.
Fruity, tannic and full of apple, fig, raisin and toffee in the mouth, its obvioiusly quite tired at this point, with low, loose carbonation and lots of earthy, cellar-like qualities. Yet again, almost no oxidation present with a supple maltiness and tons of spicy apple brandy notes to balance. A bit of alcohol, inescapable at this abv, is noted, but it warms gently without any aggressive character to it. Clean and balanced and obviously masterfully crafted, its one of the few dark ales Ive had thats survived to still be enjoyable.

brokensail (16486) - Dublin, California, USA - AUG 6, 2012
Murky, turbid brown with minimal head and carbonation. Smells of vinegar, toffee, and alcohol. Mild butter notes, wood, hint of vanilla, and brandy. A bit of toast and plenty of caramel. The flavor is quite tart as well. Booze, brandy, and wood flavors are prominent. A moderate malt sweetness, some toast, and definitely butter. Age has not been kind.

wavers1 (916) - Notown, California, USA - DEC 15, 2010
nip for $20 from monument, but boy am i glad i picked it up! bursting apple brandy nose out of the bottle, nice pour too. has more carbonation than i expected, a deep murky rich amber brown color with green edges, a small head but still resurfaces with a swirl. nose is nice, with a good matly base, then the apple brandy, then a drying sour type note. the flavor is similar, very nice, and very unique. it starts like a sour almost, funky, and then a touch a dry champagne like flavors and mouthfeel come out. but very subtly. it almost seems like it will be a sour for a second, but then is sweet, yet still dry. very interesting brew, very good. i suppose it is slightly sour, but the sweet base and brandy profile take it away almost compeltely in the after taste.

User37895 (3042) - - OCT 30, 2010
Bottle from sloth or CaptCoug. Pour was hazy orangey brown with a decent head. The aroma was caramel, apples, cherries, light fruits. The flavor was caramel, faint brown sugar, apples, brandy, with some light fruits. Took on an almost Belgian flavor, and like the 15th anniversary brew, this thing was a great aging experiment. Very nicely done, Drakes! Mouthfeel moderate in body and nicely carbonated to keep it smooth and rolling across the tongue. Thanks, Bert or Tom!

riversideAK (6261) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - FEB 20, 2010
Drakes apple brandy olde ale - big apple brandy nose, wood brown sugar. Wonderful aroma. Woody tons of barrel wood. Murky brown no head. Apple brandy barrel woody tart buggy a little brown sugar caramel. Apple brandy barrel dominates but nice sweetness lingers. Good carbonation. Maybe a little too long in bottle, but damn nice. Thinned out, but drinks very well for 10.5. I’m happy with this. 9 3 8 4 16

bvc (1242) - Washington, USA - DEC 16, 2009
6oz nip from riversideak. Such a cool nip and an awesome beer to share man! Upon opening, the aroma is pure apple...nice. Murky toffee amber with tight ever present head. Tons of apple, sherry, brandy, pecan, leather oxidation, marzipan...also get some peachy marmalade...with some very present warmth from the abv. Body is thin but the carbonation isn’t gone. Tart apple up front, somewhat sour almost, dry cinnamon spice, vanilla oak, hints of leather and beachnut chewing tobacco. I would say this beer is past it’s peak, but still enjoyable. Thanks Alex!

Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 3, 2009
Nip bottle. Poured relatively clear (at least initially) rich golden with a thin cap of off-white head and a dense ring around. The aroma carried a huge dose of brandy and oak sourness accented by airy white pepper, mild oxidation, and lighter-skinned fruits.. soft and actually sort of sweet after it had the chance to breathe. The flavor opened with the aforementioned oak and apple brandy, opening to soft caramel and cherry dust.. vanilla and oak were laced throughout.. finished with dry, dusty sweetness and impressions from the barrel. Medium-bodied with more carbonation than expected (which worked well).. great barrel character was well-balanced against the base beer.. long, memorable finish. Nice one!

beerguy101 (5360) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 2, 2009
Sampled on 11/20/2009. This old ale pours a slightly hazy brown color from a 6oz bottle. Little to no head present. The aroma is wood, brandy, apples and malt. A medium bodied old ale. The malts are caramel, fruity and slightly sweet. The hops are herbal. The apple flavors are in the background with a nice malt backbone. Nice balance of wood, brandy, oak and malt. I seem to remember that these were not carbonated when they were bottled. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - AUG 2, 2009
Suprised to see after having this at least 5-6 times that I haven’t rated it. Opened my 2nd to last nippper last night and it’s in fine form still.

The aroma is clearly sweet smelling, with an obvious apple angle to it. Wood, wet paper, caramel, brandy...but very sweet smelling. Flavor is suprsingly minerally/tart-like. Caramel, toffee, a bit of wood and apples but nothing is really overpowering. Sublime might be a nice word because it’s so easy to sip and enjoy and just let the day go bye. Not the greatest from Drakes by far, but very tasty.

joeneugs (6371) - Livermore, California, USA - JUN 29, 2009
I was proud of this find. I don’t usually have a good nose for finding rare, retired beers, but I found this one chillin on a shelf at one of my local beer stores. Score. True to the style, the aroma was of old, overipe, sour fruit. Mostly cherries, crab apples, wood, and brown sugar. It was a murky brown color with no head. It had an interesting, tart, salty flavor of apples, wood and an alcoholic burn at the end. Well integrated flavors I’m guessing due to the age. A good nightcap.

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