We saved the best for last on our self guided tour of the Anaheim brew scene. I have had a few barrel aged bottles from Family Rue prior to this visit (Black Tuesday, Grey Monday, Sucre, Anniversary Ale) and I can honestly say I think they are one of the best breweries in the US and the world. With literally dozens of Brues to choose from we picked out some that really caught our eyes and jumped in.
I tend to start off tastings a little bit lighter and then building up. I did that this time too, but based on the location- starting “light” wasn’t really light. I loved Saixon. This unapologetic saison was spicy and fruity with a great body for the style.
The Grade literally tasted like waffle crisp. I don’t know what else to say. This Baltic porter was a little bit thin, but absolutely delicious.
I wish I had flip flopped Saison Rue and The Grade. I didn’t hate this second saison, but it wasn’t quite as good as the first or the porter. Saison Rue joins the list of imperial saisons that have failed to impress me- maybe there’s something lost in the process?
The next beer has definitely been on my ‘want to try’ list. Tart of Darkness is top three most unique beers I’ve ever had. Not my favorite stout, but one of my favorite sours. I couldn’t drink tons of these, but I’m really glad I tried it.
There were three varietals of Autumn Maple available. We decided on the eldest: The 2015 Autumn Maple, bottle conditioned for over a year. I wish we could have done a vertical of them to see how it changed over time. As it stands- this one was filled with molasses, cloves, and a light banana sweetness from start to finish.
Though the next beer has a similar name I don’t consider it a varietal. Midnight Autumn Maple had some similar qualities, but in stout form they take on very different characteristics. This imperial stout wasn’t barrel aged, but was still so thick and creamy that I had to double check. Perfectly sweet with maple and molasses- really well done!
I love Manhattans and I love Dodie. I’m not entirely sure how to classify this ale, but there was some subtle cherry to start and a citrusy orange finish.
The next beer, Mash & Vanilla, is the only barely wine I’ve ever had on tap. This one starts right out true to its name: intense sweetness and a mountain of vanilla. The velvety mouth feel of this barrel aged barley wine will stick in my memory for a while.
I’m not sure if the two are supposed to be compared, but So happens it’s Tuesday draws some really close comparisons to another Bruery barrel aged stout: Black Tuesday. So happens it’s Tuesday is still roasty and delicious, but if that is an appropriate comparison then it doesn’t quite measure up.
I don’t typically love blends, Melange #14’s mix of a barrel aged strong ale and an imperial stout was almost perfect. The two styles differ while still complimenting each other. Fourteen comes in with some big booziness that is followed by a mellow roasted toffee.
I may have been getting a little tipsy by the last beer. Brewery number four on the day and beer near or above 10% abv number eleven at the brewery (this one’s 15.1%). I wrote “Boom” as my description of White Chocolate. I enjoyed this barrel aged wheat wine and picked up a decent amount of vanilla, but that’s all I can say. A great way to finish the day!
My expectations were really high as I am already aware of what these guys are brue-ing and they truly did not disappoint. There are a couple tastings I’ve been on that have come close, but this was the best tasting I’ve ever done. Huge shout out to The Bruery for a 9.9 out of 10. Keep doing what you guys are doing.