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Rufus Corvus - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rufus CorvusRufus Corvus

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

35 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 412
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 7.47%
Wants: 43
Gots: 98 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.83% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rhettroactive on 04-25-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

85% aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, 9% aged in Chardonnay barrels, 6% aged in Zinfandel barrels
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 412
Photo of DahWag
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Typical Avery malt level gives this an almost caramel flavor. Add that to the rich red wine characteristics and the relatively mild sourness (4/7/14 bottle) and this is a top beer in this category. (197 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy and murky deep amber body. Small white head.

Smell - Really winey. Red wine. Some caramel. Lightly acidic and a bit acetic.

Taste - Caramel. Oak. Some vanilla. Red wine builds up a lot. Not as sour as I thought, but still has a substantial vinegar sourness.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Medium body.

Overall - Great red wine flavor. Almost too much, but this is very good. (441 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a cloudy garnet with a bit of light tan head.
S: It smelled like tart apple cider vinegar and funky oak, with some red grapes and brown sugar.
T: It tasted like tannic red wine and tart apple cider vinegar and funky oak. It had a clean lasting bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of carbonation. Nice bubbly body.
D: This was a great sour, with beautifully complex and balanced scent and taste. The body was fitting, although it had a strong aftertaste, so it must be sipped. Age may help, but it doesn't need it. Great brew. (550 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with a murky complexion. A fingernail of beige foam covers half of the top. I definitely pick up the aromas of Cabernet and Chardonnay. The flavor is sour with Brett but is nicely balanced with the wine barrel aging. I definitely taste Zinfandel and Chardonnay. The mouth is highly carbonated and crisp. (328 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big fluffy head builds up for a little bit before settling to a small covering. The body is a deep dark brown with red highlights.

The aroma is full of wine barrel. Tart red fruits like cherries. Slight vinegar, plum, and caramel.

Red wine, wood, cherry, raspberry. Tartness permeates throughout and gets the juices in the mouth flowing. Light and bubbly on the tongue.

Comes off like a Flanders style sour. Really well done. (430 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass. Appealing label art. Gold foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap.

Bottled Apr 7 2014. 6.83% ABV. Served cold into a stem-tulip in high altitude Castle Rock, CO and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a wild ale per the label. Expectations are high given its high ratings and Avery's reputation.

HEAD: One finger wide. Pale khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Not real full or robust. Retention is decent - about 3 minutes - which isn't great for the ABV. Leaves no lacing as the head recedes.

BODY: Dark deep amber-sanguine of average vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special, but it looks good for a wild ale.

AROMA: Dampened oak wood, white zine grapes, some red wine notes, touches of acetic character, spritzy rose wine, neutral Belgian malts, and traces of caramel and vanilla. It's an inviting wine-evocative aroma of above average strength. Wine tannins, a hint of cherry, supple grape. Hints of vinegar and funkiness. The barrel notes are lovely, but I wonder if the base beer is bringing much to the table.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The barrel is just amazing; there's incredible complexity with notes of dampened oak, white wine, rose wine, red wine, vanilla, caramel, and leather. The base is easily imposed upon: some neutral Belgian malts, and darker Belgian bruin malts. I do wish the base beer brought more to the table, but the barrel notes accentuate the guiding sourness so well it's almost a non-issue. Sourness is satisfying but not puckering - maybe a 7/10 in intensity overall. I love the tart cherry, subtle though it is. It tastes legitimately spontaneous, evoking lactobacillus bacteria and even hints of more complex wild yeast/bacteria - lambicus isn't out of the question as far as I'm concerned. Sour green apple notes lend it still more complexity.

Incredibly well-balanced and built. The acetic character really does it for me. Brilliantly subtle, with excellent depth and duration of flavour. Fairly high flavour intensity. I'm loving this.

TEXTURE: Smooth, lightly dry, moderately thick, full-bodied, soft, leathery, and well-carbonated. Some might find it a bit too rough and abrasive on the palate. It's not quite fine-tuned, but this mouthfeel complements the taste well. The acidity from the wine is perfect. It's also surprisingly supple. And the leathery feel grows on you, helping to coax out depth from and accent the flavours.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or scratchy.

OVERALL: It's extraordinarily drinkable, and slides down all too easy. I'll inhale my glass; this is one tasty sour from Avery. It's great work from a good brewery, and I'd love to see more from them. Definitely worth trying. Will impress the discerning drinker. Might even be Avery's best beer.

(2,911 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light brown color with a sparse khaki head. Not too much to the head.

The aroma is quite sour. Big oak notes come through. You can really pick up the actual wood aroma. Tart wine grapes and some lemon. A bit of funk from the yeast.

The taste is very tart not really sour. Again big oak presence. The various wine barrels come through. A very pleasant wine flavor. The yeast is a bit funky, gives off a touch of farmhouse.

The feel is light and spritzy. Sweet and tart on the palate with a drying finish. I get a bit of stickiness.

Not a huge fan of wine barrel brews but this one is quite good. The base beer with the yeast is light and funky. The barrel provides excellent oak and wine flavors. Good job. (731 characters)

Photo of danbar
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Very good sour but not as complex as I was hoping. Did not get as much wine barrel as other Avery sours such as Depuceleuse. Nice level of tartness and carbonation. Was much darker than expected. (198 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

thanks so much to tenderbranson69 for sharing this, enjoyed chilled from a bottle in a goblet.

The color is deep brown with slightly dark red hue with fine bead and light cream color head with retention that is good. The smell is nicely sour in aroma with light malt toastiness and mild spice scent with earthen quality and low fruity ester with some vinous odors in general. The feel is very yeasty with sour acidity and mild fruity tanginess with medium high carbonation and slight malt quality on the palate with mostly dry finish and almost no alcohol in the feel.

The taste is very good -lots of fruit up front with hints of plum and slight toasted grain in the taste with slight cherry-like acidic quality mid palate as the grape and vinous qualities accent the wild yeast flavors with a light brown sugar flavor and almost dark grape-like depth with nice tart yet fruity quality but not intensely sour. This is a very tasty wild ale enchanced by the grape with a dry quenching finish. Very drinkable not bracingly tart just a great example of a wild ale from first taste to last -the barrel aging certainly adds depth and complexity (1,142 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle into Hill Farmstead stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a coarse, light cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark mahogany. Lacing is thick, layered and spotty with good cling. Real nice.

Nose is vinegar, charred oak, wet wood and dark red fruit. Tart and aggressive on the nose and decently robust.

Opens tart grape, raspberry and vinegar. A slightly bitter woodiness in the middle with hints of grape skin and red fruit seeds. Foamy and puckering tart vinegar at the end with a bone dry, juicy finish and aftertaste. Good.

Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and bubbly in the mouth and goes down sparkling, dry, and puckering. Messy finish with a lingering, filmy aftertaste. Decent though I'd like something a bit more refreshing.

I'm not a huge fan of darker sours in general and this beer doesn't change my mind on the issue. Solid overall but the vinegar and red fruit presence is pretty one dimensional and a bit too much. Drinks higher than its ABV. (1,026 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Bottled: APR 7 2014
Served in a tulip

Really attractive apprarance. An inch tall, tight, bubbly, khaki colored crown topped the tawny, crimson-mahogany liquid. The head slowly dropped to a frothy, lasting ring. Odd shaped drops of lacing trickled along the glass.

The aroma was remarkably crisp and dry. A powdery yeastiness dominated initially. Super woody with a strong oaky, tannic character. The wine barrels were front and center. Really musty. Not very complex however. As the beer sat, the nose became slightly more interesting.

The flavor was much more tart than the nose. It too, however, was not very complex. Super woody and tannic. Uber acetic with loads of red wine vinegar. I might be tempted to refer to this as a "vinegar bomb." Grape-y with hints of sour cherries. Mouth puckering and unbalanced. With time, a touch of sweetness from the malts came forth.

The beer was light and frothy and contained a lively, sprightly effervescence. Super crisp and dry. Once on the palate, the liquid turned smooth and supple.

At $16 a bottle, Rufus Corvus was one of the most expensive and disappointing beers I have had in quite some time. Both the taste and aroma were rather thin and one-dimensional. I usually appreciate the complexities that barrel aging adds to most beers, but in this particular example the wine barrels lent an off-putting, astringent quality. (1,461 characters)

Photo of trippytbta
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Bottle poured into snifter

A: Pours deep brown with a reddish hue. Small light tan head.

S: Smells pretty sour and funky. Mayble a slight like wine

T: Great complex taste. Acidic, First comes the funk, then you start getting massive cabernet sauvignon, you get the tannins. Then a slight mix of the other wines. Aftertaste has some of the fruity and barrel tastes.

M: Very crisp and carbonated. This is a pretty dry brew.

Overall: Amazing beer, great layers of flavor and great texture (490 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

From 09/07/14 notes. Bought a $12 bottle of this at The Jeffrey for ~$14-15 in NYC. Poured into a tulip.
Bottled 04/07/14.

Pours a deep brown color with a reddish tint, one inch of fluffy off white head moderate carbonation evident. Sour cherries, tart dark fruits, white wine, oak, light funk, sour red wine, earthy notes, vanilla, and light spice. Taste has some vinegar and more cherries to it; very sour and nice. Medium body and moderate carbonation, some acidity.

Overall I thought this was a really great sour; I liked it a whoel lot. Lots of sour dark fruits, and a lot of the wine barrels come through. Well worth checking out, wouldl ike to have it again. (669 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

A: deep brown with ruby highlights - looked clear but the ale was too dark to tell for sure; got about a finger or two of tan head that slimmed to a wispy cap

S: smells like wine, with fruity acidic aromas and woody notes

T: lots of tart fruits and berries, oak wood and wines of various sorts; herbal component as well

M: sour astringence up front, light body, tingly on the tongue; drying finish

O: a real nice sour, brings out all the barrels and yeasts to make it really complex and interesting, but not being a big fan of the sours, the price factors in a bit - this was a $15 12 oz. bottle - so devotees may consider it a must-try, but for anyone else, I'd say, don't be afraid to abide by your tastes and your budget. (729 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

From bottle, 04/2014:

Pours an amber brown, fairly clear for the color when looking at the edges. The head lasts at the edges of the glass and spotty on the center surface. Definite funky sourness in the nose, the sour being lemony, a swirl brings an extra tart Sprite smell to me. I also get sasparilla notes in the background.

The taste is definitely sour, and I think it hits quite well on the amount of sourness. It draws in the sides of my mouth, but it is not the only thing going on. The sour is somewhat balanced against the carbonation and I guess whatever was giving me the sasparilla scents to mellow the sour into a more mild sour fruit (granny smith apple? starfruit?).

Really enjoyed the level of sour in this, and the fact it was a bit balanced with other flavors that enhanced the overall taste of the beer versus mellowing it out too much. (864 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark brown in color with amber hues. The head is pale white in color and rapidly dissipates. Spotty lace lays over the body.

S- Deep sour aromas, brown malt and earthiness. Cherry aroma or something of the orchard variety.

T- Sour cherries, malty flavors that border on bready, and a lingering nutty aftertaste. There's crisp apple as well.

M- sour, light, mostly smooth and slightly acidic.

This is damn tasty. The flavor sets it apart from the rest of the pack. (474 characters)

Photo of Budinetz
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into goblet.

Pours a brackish brown color with minimal head that dissipates rapidly. There is no lacing present whatsoever. The brew smells of funky infection. Lacto is definitely present on the nose with very little malt profile detected. Has quite a bit of tartness to it with some dry, oaky notes on the finish particularly upon licking your lips. Definitely has a nice mouthfeel. Very slick on the tongue and does make the cheeks pucker from the sourness, but well balanced with oak for a crisp finish. Overall a pretty solid Wild Ale. Not the best I've EVER had, but worth picking up a few bottles for sure.

Cheers! (649 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours to a deep mahogany amber body. Head is a fuzzy quick fading inch and a half of quick fading foam. Only a skim around the edges of the glass remains after only about 2 minutes. Seems rather low carbonation so far.

Nose is that nice dusty tartness feel. Dried sour cherries and maybe even a hint of rhubarb pie that is done more on the dry side. The sourness in the smell really sticks to the walls of the oak nicely.

Flavor profile follows the same path as the nose relatively closely. Very tart and slightly vinegary. Solid and dry and long on the palate is the sourness of this beer. Tannins play very well on the finish and the mouthfeel, probably from the cabernet barrels. The only thing missing here for me is just a bit more carbonation to really help carry the flavors just a little more complexly. Super beer overall though. (840 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle snagged at Mr. B’s on my trip to Denver. Apr. 7, 2014 bottle poured on July 25, 2014 as the first beer in a 3 beer BA sour ale tasting for myself to celebrate the last day of my 20s. Pours dark brownish red with very little light showing through and a small quickly fizzing off white head. Aroma is lightly sour, lots of chewy oak, vinous red wine, black cherries and currants. Flavor is lightly sour, big vinous notes, definite oud bruin influence, some black cherry, lingering oak, really nice. Medium bodied with nice crisp carbonation, juicy up front, and a lightly dry finish. This is excellent. It reminds me of Consecration, but is much lighter and easy to drink. My first sour from Avery and I am impressed. (724 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazed burgundy leaning toward ruddy brownish-orange. Head is small, off-white, and thin. Drops to a faint wispy cap with a slightly larger collar. No lacing and minimal carbonation on the pour. Still, expected given the various barrel treatments.

Smell: Crazy tart wine. Big vinous notes push some serious dark fruit. Some berries and even darker elements of plum. Dark tart cherry. Tannic with a big push of oak and a bright, almost sparkling wine character. Incredibly fruity. Some pale maltiness adds a bit of a mild toasted element in the back and a crackery snap. Some nicely caramelized malt elements, but they're small. Some soft funk adds some earthy and musty elements, but it's mainly a big juicy, vinous, tart bomb. Strongly acidic on the nose. Red wine vinegar. Acetic in good measure, almost pushes too much. Some leather and very vague chocolate notes run through the back.

Taste: Red wine vinegar first and foremost. Almost hits a one-dimensional note on the initial sip. A bit of time to warm and a few more sips let loose some solid dark fruits. Cherry flesh and skin, a touch of plum, a ton of red wine grapes. Very fruity. A bit of sparkling white wine on the back with a nice push of oak through it all. Malts are incredibly light offering a mild sweetness and a nice clean backbone. Acetic most of all. Hints of lacto and pedio add a bit of dimension to the tart edge, but they lose out to the acetic nature. Big red wine push as it warms and it never really lets up. Deep notes of grape juice mingle with leather and oak.

Mouthfeel: Juicy with an astringent finish. Medium body with a moderate to light carbonation.

Overall: Better than your average wine.

Easily one of the most wine-forward "sours" out there. Assertive red wine, so if that's not your jam, send me your bottles. (1,820 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled April 7, 2014. Poured in a snifter, the beer is a deep, dark, ruby-tinted brown coloring, with a thin, sparse, halo of white head. Aromas of tart apple and grape, dry and tart white wine characteristics, woody notes that are both spicy and earthy, and subtle chocolate and toffee notes in the backbone. Flavors are very tart and puckering, almost to the point of astringent. Wowzers! Cherry, grape, and apple, all with an undertone of spiced and slightly charred wood. This is a very layered and deep palate. Earthy tones in the tail end of the palate, accompanying a tart edge that keeps everything light. Effervescent feel at the end of a smooth, light body. The aftertaste is tangy and tart...with a subtle char and spicing. Very clean, crisp finish. This is heavy and refreshing, all at the same time. Great brew! (825 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an ice tea brown with a modest head that fritters away though it leaves a reasonable smattering of dots behind

Smell: Red wine grapes, red wine vinegar and oak; the tartness comes through in spades

Taste: Lactic tones, at the outset, bringing bold tart red wine grape flavors (more Zinfandel than Cabernet) with undertones of caramel, oak and just a hint of vanilla; in the mid-palate, there is just a hint of wine wine acidity that may be the impact of the Chardonnay barrels; the finish is tart and leathery from the Brett

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A really fine wine barrel sour which shows off the complexity of the various grape varieties as well as the impact of all four of the major wild yeast strains

Thanks, CaliSooner, for the opportunity (811 characters)

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ap - Cola. It would be hard to tell the difference between this and a coke/pepsi. Only difference being the thin ring of carbonation around the edges.

Ar - Sour. Vanilla, cherry, red and white wines. A touch of oak.

T - Puckering tartness. All three wine barrels seem to make their presence felt. More vanilla, berry (not cherry), and oak characters than are in the aroma.

M - It's a bit thinner than I imagined. The carbonation is lively enough, but I want a touch thicker mouthfeel.

O - Winey sour that doesn't need to age. But it needs a touch more creaminess/thicker mouthfeel. (590 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark crimson color. A few brisk swirls of the glass agitate Rufus Corvus and force it to swell up. The head is a thin, tan foam coat. Ribbons of light lace. Body is mostly clear.

S-Sour aroma first followed by a noticeable maltiness. Very reminiscent of a Flanders Red/Bruin. Tartness backed by caramel. Wine-soaked oak and underripe berries and cherries. Vanilla. Malt vinegar. The Zin and Cab barrels offer nuances specific to their vinefication.

T-Sour and acidic immediately. The malty area of this brew is just as easy to pick up as is in the aroma. Tart cherry and raspberry. Vanilla infused with sour, powdered candy. Malt vinegar. Old, vintage Cab and Zin where the oak has been impressively integrated. The Chard barrels even seem to make a mark in the finish; Rufus Corvus finishes like a tart, young white wine.

M-Medium bodied. Soft carbonation. Tannic. Lasting pucker effect. Tartness sticks to my lips. Very easy to drink and think about but I want this to warm up and change.

O-Avery makes these expensive, 12 oz. gems that I think are consistently worth the money if you feel like treating yourself. I think they make better Wild Ales than many other breweries whose boast a much more heralded, rarer and harder to come by reputation. Avery, keep it going, you've got my $12-$18 per 12 oz. any time. (1,329 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Rufus Corvus

Pours a ruby reddish brown with virtually no head but active carbonation visibly rising. Some sediment.

Aroma Is sweet and savory, with fruity notes and elements of a Flanders red. Complex winesque and vinegar notes.

In the taste, string sourness like fresh unripe wild berries, unripe citrus, and some barrel notes from the blend of Cabernet, Zinfendel, and Chardonnay barrel aged beers that comprise this concoction.

The finish is dry, stupidly complex, and everything tart and bittersweet. This is a fantastic sour ale from Avery, really hitting the right notes in the BA sour ale category. Impressive to say the very least. (646 characters)

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Rufus Corvus from Avery Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.