Today we have another Ale from Avery Brewing’s Demons of Ale series that goes by the name Samael’s. A few months ago I thoroughly enjoyed a bottle of their The Beast [review] a Grand Cru from the same series and am looking forward to seeing what this bottle has to offer. Avery Brewing produces a myriad of delicious ales out of Boulder, Colorado and I can’t wait to see what complexities arise from this 16.45% oak aged English Strong Ale. This particular bottle is dated April 2009 Batch 5. Pours a rather translucent deep but bright red hue that produces one finger of white head that fades within a minute or two. Aroma is complex reminding me a bit of and oak aged sherry. Notes of caramel, toffee, intense vanilla, cherry, pitted fruits and a solid dose of alcohol. Flavors are smooth and sweet with with vanilla esters from the oak aging playing a central role. Complex malt profile is predominately sweet and contrasted with modest bitterness perhaps from the hops but more likely from the intense alcohol. Some fruity esters are present but it is difficult to isolate them with the intense alcohol and vanilla notes. A complex array of caramel, toffee, cherry, vanilla and ethanol esters are most prevalent to me in this brew. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is very smooth. Alcohol is more than evident in this ale but it is still impressively smooth considering it is 16.45% ABV which likely has to do with its oak aged conditioning. While not as complex as The Beast those who enjoy smooth, sweet, highly alcoholic ales with heavy vanilla notes will certainly find this brew a unique experience. A tasty very strong ale that I would happily sample again on occasion. Give it a shot and ride your bike.