Monday, June 29, 2009

A couple of Anniversary Brews

One of the neat things that a lot of brewer's do is releasing special Anniversary beers. These releases usually take one of two forms. The first is releasing a special beer around a significant anniversary (5th, 10th, 15, etc). The second is releasing a special beer every year around their anniversary. Today I'll be posting on two beers one from each of the above categories. Both are from Colorado.
Avery Sixteen: Avery has been releasing an anniversary beer for the past few years, each one being a different style. This year the style is a Saison which frankly is a perfect summer beer. This one weighs in at 7.69% and pours a very pale light yellow with a thin head. Before I forget I should mention that this ale is made with jasmine, peaches and honey. The first whiff brings the honey, floral and fruity, peaches and jasmine are all there. The first sip reveals a vibrant mouthfeel that sparkles across the tongue. The initial flavor is honey then some fruity esters flavors, notes of candied sugar, and peaches. A little on the sweet side, but with food this was a winner. I served it with a basil, tomato, mozzarella pizzeta. The sweetness of the beer counteracted the acidity of the pizza very well. I enjoyed it, this gets a B from me. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.
Great Divide 15th Anniversary Ale: This comes from the first category, the first anniversary ale for Great Divide to celebrate a huge milestone, 15 years making good beer. This particular one is a souped up version of their flagship Denver Pale Ale aged with American and French Oak. The beer weighs in at a hefty 10%. The beer pours a dark copper with a thick taupe colored creamy head. The nose is very woody. The first whiff reminded me of walking into a winery's cellar with all the wooden barrels aging red wine, it musty, oaky, earthy, then some hops, caramel show up. The mouthfeel is creamy, caramelly malty, oak, vanilla, a more subdued hop profile. More earthy than citrusy. However at the finish long after the beer has faded there is a nice hoppy resinous flavor. As it warms the rich woodiness really starts to show up, notes of bourbon, and vanilla show up creating a luxurious sipping beer that would go amazingly well with strong cheeses particularly of the blue kind. Initially I wasn't too high on the beer, but as it opened up I really started to enjoy it so much so that I plan to age it a bit to see how it develops further. This one gets a B+ from me. Here's how the folks at BA see it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had the 15th Anniversary at the brewery last week-from both the bottle and on tap. The draft/tap beer was much smoother and more rounded off than the bottle. A few fellow beer drinkers at the tap room all agreed on that assessment. You are probably correct that a bit of aging will improve this beer in the bottles.
Rick D. (from Anvil a couple of weeks ago).