Opuntia - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Opuntia
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

123 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 62
Gots: 26 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.65% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 01-10-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Sour ale aged 9 months in Tequila Barrels with prickly pear juice added.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 14
Reviews by Rift:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 ounce bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A- quickly dissipating head, pale cream-colored... Orange-colored body with a haze. Thin lace above the body. Visible heavy carbonation.

S- Peachy and and cherry-like. Bretty, horse blanket and earthy, and a big sour aroma. Slight caramel aroma.

T- Vinegary on the taste, something vegetal that reminds me of celery or a fresh salad. There's a touch of lemon at the finish.

M- Tart and sour at the same time, at times sweet and grainy and it has a vegetal texture. There is acidity here but it won't destroy your mouth.

It's like no other beer I've had for the vegetal quality. It's not an offtaste but rather a bold turn. I enjoyed.

Photo of GilGarp
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb 19, 2014. Production of 263 cases.

Served chilled into a goblet, opuntia is a beautiful copper-amber color with great clarity. The head is non existant so no lacing on this one.

Aroma is mostly coming from the wild yeast but with subtle undertones of vanilla and pear.

Flavor is beautifully balanced with sweet, tart, and sour all playing in unison. The vanilla from the oak and the prickly pear come through as well as some sour grapes and honey. The sour note is not overpowering even after a year of aging. I don't get much from the tequila but I don't see that as a bad thing.

Mouthfeel is medium to light in body with sparkling carbonation. The sweet to sour balance is just right for my tastes.

Overall an excellent sour and one of the best from Avery.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange body. Small white head. Medium collar.

Smell - A very interesting fruit aroma. I don't smell much prickly pear on a daily basis, but it smells like it's in the cactus family. Faint tequila aroma.

Taste - Lots of fruit. Like the smell. A fruit cactus flavor. A vegetal flavor that isn't unpleasant. Seems to fit. Citrusy. Pleasant sourness.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation and medium body.

Overall - I didn't expect to like this. The tequila is present and not unpleasant, which is quite a surprise.

Photo of jegross2
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing Opuntia, a sour ale aged in first-use small-batch tequila barrels with prickly pears for 9 months from Avery Brewing Company out of Boulder, Colorado.

Score: 96

Bottle is dated 02/19/14. Served in an Upland snifter and enjoyed on 06/11/14.

Appearance: Pours a translucent orange-amber color with a thin layer of head that settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing, below average retention. 3.75/5

Smell: Sour pears, lime, grape and agave/tequila! I hate tequila, yet I love this nose! Light oakiness and apple. 4.75/5

Taste: Sour pear, lime and green apple with a sugary sweetness and light tropical fruitiness. Faint agave/tequila (particularly relative to the nose). A touch of oak in the finish with the sugary fruit. Lasting sour pear flavor. So delicious. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. Nice acidity with a good sourness without being super intense or overly dry and bracingly tart. 4.5/5

Overall: If you like pears and limes, then you must seek this delectable sour out.

Cost: $12 for a 12 oz bottle.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With as much of a wine character as it does of beer, Opuntia resonates with tangy and dry chardonnay, Belgian-esque earthy maltiness all packed into a cocoon of brilliant tequila and floral arrangements.

And those wine-like tones speak to the eye as its rosy golden appearance casts the most dainty of haze. A thin ribbon of cottony foam encircles the glass and scatters nearest its center and hangs on for most of the session.

Sharp aromas pierce the olfactory senses with utmost tangy tartness of lemons, limes, under-ripened oranges, sour grapes and crab apples. Its vinous aroma invites soft horse hair, saddle leather and cellar-like must while a background of agave and prickly pear offer a delicate fruit tone- similarly of orange blossoms and honeysuckle.

Stripping the mouth completely, the beer's acidity bypasses its wafer-thin and timid honey sweetness and slices through the thirst with dried citrus peels, sour grapes and chardonnay dry taste. Finishing sourish, a dry taste invites woody and winy character but with tepid cider notes. The bulk of its agave and prickly pear delicacy is reserved for the finish and aftertaste; as its musty bite recedes.

Its incredible dry mouthfeel absorbs the thirst and waters the mouth as its dry white wine acidity entices the palate with its mild astringency to accompany its souring pang. Its dry path closes with powdery oak and peppery warmth.

The beer's ability to deliver high flavor, power and complexity is remarkable, despite its moderate alcohol and its straight forward "wild" character than never really reaches across the sour fence.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

pour is lightly hazed copper with a white head. Nose is fruited, pear is light, hint of kiwi, sweeter, faint tequila and grain notes. Taste is fruitier, tequila is faint. Pear comes through more in the back with a moderate tartness. High carb and light body.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Bottled 2/19/14.

Pours a hazy golden-orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Tiny chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is sour with grain, fruit, agave, tequila, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, fruit, and bubblegum flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting mix of prickly pear and tequila aspects all around.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of roastedboulder11
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange, yellow, unfiltered hues. Decent white head the retreats rather quickly to a thin wisp on top of the beer. Similar in color to Bulliet Rye whiskey, except with bubbles and sediment.

Smell: Key limes. The sourness is present but subdued. Not overly tart. No clear sign of tequila.

Taste: Not as tart as I expected-- matches the noise. Nice acidity, subdued sourness, notes of lime, alcohol is not overpowering at all. Tastes like Sour Patch kids. Light to medium body, smooth drinking for a sour.

This really an enjoyable, sessionable sour ale. Which makes it unfortunate that they did such a limited release. I would have liked more tequila notes on the nose and palate, though.

4.5

Photo of kevanb
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an Avery snifter. Enjoyed on 6.10.14, reviewed from tasting journal.

The beer pours a hazy, light amber color, hues of gold and copper with a thick, frothy, white head, a nice finger or so that has good retention and yields a high amount of lace. The aroma is very fun, potent tequila barrel, chewy oak, citrus, pear, strong funkiness and a surprising amount of malt. The balance seems fine, but it's just a very unusual combination of flavors for a beer, even a wild ale. The flavors are similar, more funky up front with a stronger malt presence as well, plenty of chewy oak with lots of citrus and tropical fruits, prickly pear is easily noticeable, while the tequila barrel is quite prominent towards the end, sweet agave flavor comes out but thankfully it lacks the booziness of tequila. The mouthfeel is nice, zippy, lively and bubbly that coats well with just right amount of carbonation and an easy, soft, finish that leaves just the right amount of pucker.

Verdict: A very fun wild ale from Avery, bizarre, creative, interesting, but more importantly, successful. The flavors are balanced, complex and very peculiar. The brightness and the tropical flavors are quite enjoyable and the adjuncts and barrel treatments isn't distracting at all. Kudos to Avery for their ambition here, it paid dividends.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

one of the more unique of these barrel releases from avery. thanks to drlovemd87 for bringing it by. the color is hazy amber, light, and there isnt much head or visible carbonation. the aroma here isnt particularly enticing either, for me at least. heavy on the tequila, fresh juicy agave, oak, and that classic watermelon jolly rancher candy vibe, sugary before its sour. the flavor is far superior to the smell, the tequila takes a back seat to the cactus flesh tasting prickly pear, which adds only a little sweetness and a lot of character that is fully compatible with the tequila flavors, which have a touch of smoke, and also mesh nicely with the sourness, which stays on the front of the tongue but is rather intense. the oak mellows things and gives just enough sweetness to an otherwise dry beer. it could stand a little more carbonation i think, but its medium body and soft overall feel allow the tequila flavors to stand out, as well as the prickly pear finish to last a little longer than it otherwise might. not overly sour, but robust in that regard. complex, but not muddled. its layers of flavor, sequentially arranged and contributing equally to the overall product. all of these beers in this series have been unique, but this one may take the cake. best use of a tequila barrel in a beer i have seen, although i suspect the quantity of ones on the market is about to ramp way up. outstanding beer, expensive, but worth it for the experience.

edit: bumping up a few scores after having another bottle last night. sour like a warhead candy, and i dont mean that sour, i mean it literally tastes like a watermelon warhead, which i happen to love. better than i gave it credit for originally, still weird, but its aged gracefully, although still in its infancy im sure...

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Golden sour clear as day. Medium lacing.

S- I get agave, or cactus more so than tequila presence which goes 50/50 with a golden sour funk smell.

T- Again, more agave than tequila. They must have used some good tequila barrels. (Just read the label; prickly pear was added which is the dominant presence). Decent sour background. Not to impressed with that.

M- Thin golden sour with medium carb. This one is more negative in the M.

O- I thought I would hate this beer considering how sick I got off of tequila in high school. The only tequila that I get is a minute after the taste. Def give it a try!

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Had this at Hamilton's along with other Avery sours. This one blew me away. I don't normally think tequila barrels and sour work well together but this one is executed really well. Excellent complements with the prickly pear almost tropical. Just a pleasure to drink start to finish. Even has some lactic finish in the mouthfeel which I really dig in a sour. Would buy a case of this in a heartbeat if I could find it.

Photo of jbaker67
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Orange and pretty clear with light sediment and a fizzy, quickly diminishing head. Tropical, fresh aroma of tart fruit, sour notes, light oak and a touch of tequila. Similar flavor, juicy, fruity, tart, sour and lightly sweet. Medium body with a nice puckering feel and a lasting finish. Pretty damn good.

Photo of spoony
3.99/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle into a tulip. Reviewed from notes dated April 27, 2014.

A-A normal pour produces about a finger of off-white head with decent retention. There is no lacing on the glass as I drink. The beer is murky with some visible carbonation. It is honey-golden in color.

S-The beer smells pretty sour with lemon, lime, and green apple flavors. It smells more sour than I remember it smelling when I first tried it on the day of the release. Anyway, there is some overripe fruit that I assume is the prickly pear, although I don't think of prickly pear as I sniff, with touches of oak and tequila. Unique, for sure.

T-The taste tracks the smell mostly with sour flavors like lemon, lime, and green apple balancing against the sweetness of the prickly pear flavor. Lurking underneath it all is a healthy dose of tequila and slightly funky oak. It is very interesting and true to the label, but I'm not sure that it is my favorite combination.

M-The feel is slightly heavy for a wild ale with semi-creamy carbonation and a wetness on the finish.

O-The tequila barrel and prickly pear definitely come through, which make for an interesting beer. While this is a good beer, and a creative one, I'm not go-go-ga-ga over it. I have a few more in the cellar and I'll be curious to see how they age because the bottle that I reviewed tasted different than I recall the bottle tasting on the day of the release (although I didn't take notes on that earlier bottle). Any, props to Avery for busting out the tequila.

Opuntia from Avery Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.