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Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty OneAvery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

265 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 265
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 1
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JimmyFlatRock on 05-23-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Avery Twenty One
22 ox. brown glass bottle, coded "14160B6 10:25261"
$$7.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Avery never fails, and their "Twenty One" is no exception. This "Imperial India-style Brown Ale" is really more "Imperial" because of its girth than it's hoppiness.

The base is a rich but not over-blown maltiness that's softly roasty and chocolatey, as well as directly grain-like. At it's heart it has that barley sweetness that you find in bigger beers like barley wine and old ales, yet it's not full in the mouth... I'd say it's medium-full leaning towards full, but it's also slightly crisp, and then silky smooth. Alcohol, of course, makes its way into the equation as well, giving it a subtly spicy flicker.

It has a solid bitterness, of course, which balances the malt and dries it; and the alcohol helps a little bit as well. It's only 8.3% alcohol but it shows. In certain beers I'd say that that's a defect, but in other beers, such as this one, it's almost a necessary component - without that delicate pinch of alcohol you might find the beer to be somehow dull or lack-lustre. The alcohol livens it a bit, and for an "Imperial" ale isn't that kind of a requirement?

Hops, of course, are also required in an Imperial Indian-style ale and there are plenty of them, but they aren't that aggressive. They don't jump out at you, and they don't overwhelm. If there were any more than what's already there, you wouldn't find the maltiness as it is; and I think, in fact, that you'd find a skewed beer, and maybe a different style altogether. No, this beer is about stability and balance. But what of the hops themselves? Well, they perch atop the malt, giving off a beautifully floral, softly citrusy, and delicately piney essence. If you search you'll also find some fruitiness, although I felt that came through more as a secondary to the malt in the flavor: there I found apple and red berries, backed by light pineapple, papaya, melon, and lastly, guava. Back to the malt, if it were any more roasty or chocolatey I think you'd lose some of the hop character.

As is often the case, the beer changes as you drink it, with the temperature increasing, and your palate becoming accustomed to certain flavors. Initially leaning more towards malt, as it warms that sways over to hops. That's part of its complexity.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and I could see drinking more than one of these in a row (but not two, because the strength will get to you). Nicely balanced! Worth seeking out before it's gone.

NeroFiddled, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

As American brewers continue to put a stranglehold on British beer styles, the brown ale is no exception. Imperial strength, drier body, toasty flavor and deep hop bitterness are just a few techniques at the brewer's disposal and Avery is content to use them all for their 21st anniversary ale.

Its dark brown austere promotes the character of statesmanship and masculinity though not quite black or brilliant. And that all carries over to a toasted taste and early aroma that unfolds with coffee, chocolate, burnt toffee and roasted walnut. Burnt citrus, grass and pine waft about and do more than simply balance the early palate.

As sweetness lightens across the middle, the toasted flavors rise along side of the hops for a taste that more resemble porter and IPA at the same time. Bittersweet chocolate edge toward cocoa, toasted bread to burnt toast and resinous pine to campfire. All the while, the taste of citrus peels develop their acute bitterness.

Toasty-dry in finish, the dark ale retains a moderate sweetness to balance the lightly roasted acidity and strong grassy, piney and citrusy bitterness. With mild alcohol warmth assisting to dry, the toasted elements overshadow any residual sweetness with ease.

BEERchitect, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%

22 ounce bottle - $8.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a frothy, medium-sized, beige head.

Smell: Predominant hop notes, with aromatic resins, oily citrus peelings, and moist, fresh-cut bitter herbs which, when hitting the nutty, toasty (lightly roasty) malts, gives a spiced woodsy vibe.

Taste: Charred bread crusts housing a little amount of brown sugar sweetness. Slight nuttiness. Grassy, sharply herbal tones, resinous, with supporting pithy tangerine and grapefruit. Moderate bitterness. Small bits of sugar cookie and tempering sweetness try to emerge, though the beer ultimately finishes dry, resiny, and grassy, with a light, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the fuller side of medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Reasonably smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: For those vehemently demanding a bit more hops in their browns.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of AlaskanYoung
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%

AlaskanYoung, Today at 12:56 AM
Photo of baklo
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

baklo, Yesterday at 10:31 AM
Photo of Mr_Hoptimistic
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Mr_Hoptimistic, Saturday at 08:04 PM
Photo of Basoos1
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Basoos1, Friday at 07:21 PM
Photo of kojevergas
2.34/5  rDev -39.4%

"Imperial India-Style Brown Ale" per the label. No idea what that means, but okay - I'll review it as a hoppy brown ale.

Bottled May 2014. 8.30% ABV. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass BOTTLE with silver foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local H-E-B grocery and served into a snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I like the brewery, but I'm very suspicious of the style description.

Served chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Off-white/pale khaki in colour. Aptly thick. Nicely creamy. Retention is pretty good - about 5 minutes. Has a nice even consistency and a nice complexion. Light inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Dark caramel-amber of average vibrance. Understated, with a light richness. Translucent; quasitransparent.

No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

AROMA: Caramel. Amber malts. Vague fruit. Herbal hop notes. Lightly nutty. Some hop resins. Light toffee. A kiss of pine. Ripe citrus peel. The grassy hop character eclipses any brown ale notes - including the faint nuttiness, suggesting an overhopped brew with an underutilized malt base. The British leanings are evident, but ultimately this is an underwhelming aroma of below average strength.

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

If we're really considering this a brown ale, I'd like to see more intense, deeper nutty aromatics, and less of a dry toffee-ridden character.

TASTE: Maltier than anticipated. Amber malts, brown malts, caramalt...it's never too sweet, but it is too malty (even for a regular brown ale, never mind the imperial India-style nonsense.) Of course, it's quite hoppy for a purported brown ale, with grassy notes, resins, a bit of pine, and vague fruit. Has a light toasted character as well. Overripe citrus peel works its way in, to the beer's detriment.

I have to say, it's a bit scattered. The overhopping does not suit the dark malt base at all, and what I look forward to in brown ales - the nuttiness, the rustic brown malts, the clean yeast-devoid British feel - is absent here. The toffee is poorly executed, failing to evoke the finer chocolatey notes of toffee but bringing all the rough bitterness. I find it too bitter, which ruins the balance, and I'm not sure what they're after with the strange unbecoming citrusy notes.

It's a clash of too many hops with a neutral dark malt body, and never feels balanced or carefully executed. It lacks intricacy and subtlety, and is far from gestalt. I wouldn't call it cohesive per se, but it's not a mess.

Not yeasty or boozy, though the alcohol isn't all that well concealed.

TEXTURE: Strangely dry and coarse on the palate, with an unpleasant roughness and irritating scratchiness. It drags on the palate, lending the beer a poor overall presence. This texture suits neither the style nor the flavour profile well.

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

OVERALL: I was skeptical going into this review just given the purported style, and the beer was as underwhelming and imbalanced as anticipated. Avery makes some great brews, but this is by no means one of them. I'll finish the bottle alone with difficulty, and wouldn't encourage friends or trade partners to pick this one up. Not sure what they're after with this one, but I hope they'll stick to something more in their wheelhouse for the next anniversary offering - a sour or high ABV imperial stout, perhaps.


kojevergas, Friday at 07:09 AM
Photo of Sinfull
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Deep brown color, good off-white head. Great hoppy aroma with notes of roasted malt. Roasted malt , citrus , grapefruit and strong bitterness in taste. Full body , medium carbonation. Long hoppy bitterness in aftertaste. Good black IPA.

Sinfull, Friday at 02:05 AM
Photo of Mantooth
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Mantooth, Thursday at 11:38 PM
Photo of ralerwen
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

ralerwen, Wednesday at 08:22 PM
Photo of SaxmanRick
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

SaxmanRick, Wednesday at 03:27 AM
Photo of millerbuffoon
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

millerbuffoon, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of jzeilinger
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

jzeilinger, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of beergoot
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

The pour produced a deep, brownish-red body with a one-finger thick, lingering head (3.75). Nuts and roasted grain aroma; a twinge of bitter chocolate (3.6). Chocolate and charred grain flavors dominate things; a bitter and sweet; stinging bitterness and hint of alcohol heat (3.75). Medium body; mildly sweet yet dry finish (3.6).

Not a bad beer for a big brown anniversary ale. Nothing other-worldly about this one, but tasty enough for a dark ale. Perhaps a little too tannic and astringent; a bit more malt sweetness may have really smoothed things out some, but it's still worth a visit.

beergoot, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Texasfan549, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Sammy, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +3.6%

GClarkage, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of davegray
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

davegray, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of BeerChamp27
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

BeerChamp27, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of ToddHolder
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

ToddHolder, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of sammyg832
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

sammyg832, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of Summer92
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Summer92, Aug 31, 2014
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Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.