Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Avery Sui Generis

Avery brewing out of Colorado has a growing reputation for not only their solid line of beers, but their exceptional special release beers. Beer's that I've enjoyed like their Anniversary Beers, Collaboration Not Litigation, and Maharaja one of the best DIPA's around. Recently they have gotten into barrel aging certain beers, the first of these was Brabant No 1, and exceptional brew aged in Zinfandel barrels and made with two strains of wild yeasts. Their second beer from this series was released during Great American Beer fest. Only 138 cases were made and they were only available in the Avery Tap Room. Unfortunately the release day was the day before I arrived in Denver for GABF, lucky for me though a friend from Houston arrived early and picked up a bottle for me. So what is this beer? It is a blended barrel aged sour ale. Ok so what does that mean? It's a beer brewed with 1 special yeast and two different bacteria including Brettanomyces, lactobacillus and pedicoccus, respectively different batches are aged in different barrels and then blended for the final product. 20% aged in Cabernet Savignon, 35% in Chardonnay, 13% in Port Barrels, and finally 13% in Bourbon barrels.
The Beer: It weighs in at 10.2% and pours a hazy orangish brown with a thick dense head of foam. The nose is funky, sour, tart, notes of vanilla and oak. This is a full bodied beer, tart, sour, oaky, vanilla, winish notes. Its all here, warming to oak and bourbon, sour cherries, slight portish notes. A predominant flavor is cherries its reminiscent of a Manhattan with the flavors of bourbon. Tons of lacing here. More flavors coming through, green apples, tart, bready, figs and port, wine and cheese, earthy. Wonderful beer that with each sip and each sniff more flavors are brought forward. Yes its sour, yes its tart, there is no doubt that this is a sour ale, but there is so much more that it becomes balanced to me, hiding the alcohol relatively well. This is an absolutely wonderful beer that gets an A from me. Here's what the folks at BA think.

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