Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 239 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +14%
Reddish brown body wasn't the most attractive color for a beer, as it veered a little too close to a muddy Belgian Dubbel at first. The head atop was however nicely proportioned at two finger thick, and the overall look grew on me in a short while. The smell was a mix of chocolate, toffee, hops, and almonds, and was very inviting. As anticipated, the taste was closely derived from the smell, and I could get a complex medley of chocolate, some coffee, burnt toast, toffee, cherry, and then was hit with a load of hops mid palette. It was more like an imperial porter than any kind of IPA derived brew, but whatever you call the style, it had a delicious flavor. The body was surprisingly hefty for the ABV and the style, and the mouthfeel was somewhere between silky and chewy. The beer was different from what I expected, and better.
08-24-2014 05:58:12 | More by rajendra82
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.
08-20-2014 19:45:37 | More by NeroFiddled
3.9/5 rDev +1%
22 oz bottle, says "bottled in May 2014" on label. Label notes "Imperial Indian-style Brown Ale"
pours a medium brown color, white head, that fades. aroma is bready malt and earthy hops. taste is a little boozy, malty flavors that start sweet with a touch of chocolate, that finishes dry and herbal. medium body - full mouthfeel. coats the mouth.
overall - an interesting beer. they didn't go crazy with the hops which in my opinion is a good thing.
08-20-2014 04:08:19 | More by jmdrpi
Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.