Last week a panel of Better Tasters gathered to muse over the Demons of Ale, Avery’s series of three ales that quite literally will kick you in the teeth. I mean, seriously. None of these are under 14% ABV, and drinking a bottle by yourself can be lethal. Listen to uncle Remi and don’t drink these without sharing!
Anyway, far be it for me to speak for anyone else, so here are my musings about the three ales.
Samael’s Oak-Aged Ale
Be it in the ancient Jewish faith or the pop-culture of Silent Hill, the fallen angel of Samael has found his place in people’s hearts and souls. So why not in their mouths also?
Actually, there is a pretty good reason why not: I simply found Samael a bit too boozy (16.45% ABV = yikes!) for my liking. The thick molasses flavor is not unpleasant, but you can taste the booze pretty much as it hits your tongue. And that’s not a good thing, at least not for me.
This is a grand cru, and probably the best of the three Demons. There is a bit of booziness to be detected here also, but not until you actually swallow, which almost makes it feel more like a brandy.
And at 14.9% ABV you can actually detect some nice sweetness from fruit and caramel. While all three ales could probably be used as digestifs (how often can you say that about a beer?), this is probably the one that would be best suited for it.
This one comes about as black as a stout can come, and it weighs in at a hefty 16.03%. Yet for whatever reason it seems like the mildest one of the group, and is actually a very pleasant sipping beer.
It is nice and malty, and just lightly sweet. In a way, I suppose, it’s a devil in disguise (get it?!) so go slow on it. But it’s definitely a fine ale.
Avery makes a lot of great ales, and while the Demons obviously are brewed with a lot of expertise, I do think the brewery has better products to offer. But hey, the Demons of Ale do make for an interesting tasting session.