Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One - Avery Brewing Company

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Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty OneAvery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

410 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 410
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 2
Gots: 53 | 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:
Beer added by: JimmyFlatRock on 05-23-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 410 | Reviews: 65
Reviews by fox227:
More User Reviews:
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of Beaver13
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, bottled on May 2014. Pours ruby brown with a medium frothy, creamy light tan head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet roasted chocolate malts and some cola with piney hops.

The flavor is sweet cola, roast chocolate, nutty malts, a little fruit, and big piney, leathery hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a decent hoppy brown.

Photo of Fcip78
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Imperial brown ale - a triumph. Plenty of malty bite with a hop twinge.

Photo of Beerswag
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sweet Malty, and Carmel notes, Heavy mouthfeel, some licorice,
vanilla, a bite of hops which quickly disappears on the end. A bit heavy mouthfeel, and lacking balance. Smooth, and sweet tasting, lots of carmel, roasted malt, grain, and low carbonation.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color with a fingernail of beige head. Brussels lacing. Aroma is of hazelnuts and amber malt. The flavor is strongly comprised of hazelnuts and amber malt. There might be some piney hops but they are overwhelmed by the hazelnut and amber malt intensity. The mouth is very dry and crisp.

Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with some hints of ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and a big three finger light tan head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: An earthy, toasty, and fairly robust balanced aroma of malt and hops. Toasted barley malts with big hints of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, nuts, and yeast. Big hop presence for a brown ale with earthy hints of grass and pine. Citrus hints of orange peel, grapefruit, and lemon. Subtle hints of brown sugar. A pretty big balanced aroma that is almost like a black ale.

Taste: Like the smell, a big and balanced taste of toasted malts and earthy hops. Dark toasted barley malts with big notes of toasted bread, biscuit, nuts, chocolate, and coffee along with some toffee, grains, and yeast. Sweet notes of brown sugar. Big presence of nicely bitter hops with earthy notes of grass and pine. Citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, and tangerine. Nicely rich and creamy. A pretty good hopped up taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the fuller side. Carbonation is moderate. Nicely creamy, chewy, and drying on the finish. Alcohol heat is hidden well.

Overall: A pretty good and interesting twist on a brown ale. Big toasty malt taste with an equally big hop presence. Tastes a lot like an imperial black IPA.

Photo of jjam1266
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Pours reddish brown with a moderate white head. Smell is an amazing blend of toffee, almonds, hops, and a hint of other citrus.

After smelling the beer I was very excited!

Taste is a complex blend of nuttiness an spicy hops. However, it is overwhelmed by a strong boozey/acidic taste that hides the complexities. This beer is hoppy for this style which made the flavor have more bitterness than I expected - but not too bad. The finish did not make this beer very desirable.

Overall I was disappointed.

Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Barrel Republic. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Dark red-brown with a very durable tan head that leaves patterned, sticky lacing.

Aroma: Surprisingly hoppy: think IPA. Floral and fruity with faint malts. Good complexity.

Flavor: Mild-moderate bitterness; loads of hop flavor; some appreciated medium and sweet malt balance. Bitterness peak mid-taste rather than in hte finish or aftertaste.

Feel: Medium body with good carbonation. Some warming.

O: High ABV is partilly hidden. Worth seeking out.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, almost black, but not quite, mahogany color, speckled with touches of reddish highlights and a full finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with tons of rich, earthy aromas of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked sourdough bread. There’s also strong aromas of candied sugar, touches of stone fruit, such as prunes, dates and figs, as well as spices of black pepper, clove and garam masala. Finally, there’s quite a bit of floral, piney hops.

Taste: Delicious! There’s tons of rich, earthy flavors of bready, toasted malt, up front, imparting notes of freshly baked sourdough bread, followed by strong flavors of candied sugar, and touches of stone fruit, such as prunes, dates and figs, as well as spices of black pepper, clove and garam masala, dark chocolate and roasted chestnuts. Finally, there’s quite a bit of floral, piney hops at the finish, but its beautifully balanced and not at all overly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and extremely smooth, as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 8.7%, there is just a touch of a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very complex, rich, earthy, inviting beer, with an extreme depth of flavor and great mouth feel. Excellent beer! Another grand-slam from Avery!

Photo of GilGarp
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber bottled in May of this year.

Served cold into goblet, Avery's 21st Anniversary ale is dark color brown in color. It has thick tan head that settles quickly and leaves some spotty lace on the glass.

Aroma is hoppy but not overly so and certainly not as much as the imperial moniker would have me expecting. Especially coming from the maker of Maharaja. I do get some of the toasted malt character though.

Flavor is well balanced, again maybe too balanced for an imperial, with caramel and toffee, citrus and pine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a solid effort but nothing exceptional. A style hybrid that doesn't quite deliver on the imperial part of the billing.

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up in Wichita

Pours an effervescent ruby/brown with 2 fingers of tan head. Stellar lacing & good head retention

S: Toastyness, herbal hops & woody notes, a little booze

T: Toastyness, nuttiness, woody hop notes up front, some pineyness & a little hazel nut? Dryness, faint coffee notes, hazel nuts, dryness & woody hops with some grapefruit as this warms, & some vanilla notes, some dryness. Finishes dry, woody, grapefruitty

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, nice balance. Stays a touch overgassed, but warming

I liked this, not sure it's a life changer, but this works as well as most black IPAs do. Well worth a go; drinks easy

Photo of KYGunner
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This pours with a hearty deep brown hue and a thick almost cream like head. Light coffee nose, some chocolate malt but I get a strong cilantro, herb and hemp aroma. The flavor was described as "herbaceous" in the beertender notes and I have to agree. Some elements of a brown exist underneath ie coffee, chocolate malt, roast. The herbal notes are just too strong and spicy for my expectations of an Imperial Brown Ale.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: deep brown beer and I'm pretty sure it's clear... Two fingers of tan head, slimmed but never departed; some spattered lace down the glass trailed behind...

S: roasted brown malts - a distinct and earthy aroma - hints of deeper pine resins and moldering fruit; herbal accents, brushes with something medicinal...

T: the rich brown malts are immediately assertive, but followed soon thereafter with muddled hops of citrus and pine, all browned and mellowed, conjuring a rustic character; sugars are brown and molasses, perfectly applied...

M: smooth and warming; mellow but with a spicy brown edge; medium-bodied, mildly carbonated; great drinkability...

O: I liked this plenty, but since I prefer hoppy pales to malty browns, this may skew my review. Perhaps it appeals to some specific taste in me, as I seem to be far above the norm in my review. Only one way to find out.
Recommended. Give it a try...

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a one finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of dark malt with light toastiness, nuts, hints of chocolate, light citrus hops. Flavor starts with the same lightly toasted dark malt, nuts, a bit earthy and develops a strong lupelin flavor with light piney and citrus elements, finishing with strong hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess in the finish. A nice earthy, toasted malt body, but it is overwhelmed by the bitterness of the hops, which seem to be all about alpha acids; very bitter, but with light herbal or fruit flavor elements. Perhaps a brown ale malt body is not sufficient for intense hopping, although some CDAs pull it off well. I did like this intense imperial brown ale, but there were moments when the hop bitterness was a bit aggressive. Interesting and a bit challenging. As I got used to the hopping, this grew on me quite a bit and I looked forward to the hop / malt interactions.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Medium dark brown. Nice big tan head with messy lacing.
smell: Wow, hops are pippin. This nose is redolent with grapefruit, Citrusy flavors with a sweet malty offset. Amarillo and Simcoe hops.
taste: Just as the nose suggests. Loads of hoppy goodness blended perfectly with a malty backbone.
overall: Not overly excited by a "barely" imperial Brown but this is one finely crafted tasty brew.

Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a mini 8 oz tumbler.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Brown sugar dominates the nose and works great with the piney, earthy hops. Almost borders on barleywine territory although the alcohol presence isn't really there.

T- More brown sugar sweetness plus some molasses and raisin. The hops are somewhat subdued but still provide a solid bitterness to complement the sweet malt. Alcohol is very well-hidden. Great hop burps.

M- Slightly creamy but still sharp from the hops. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Just about every anniversary beer from these guys is awesome and this is no exception. Great malt/hop contrast. Highly recommended.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very dark brown when viewer from afar; upon closer inspection, the beer is clear and very dark brownish red when held up to a bright light. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down a bit, leaving a short head that mostly covered the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose along with hints of spicy hops.
T: The taste starts out with flavors of nutty malts but quickly transitions to spicy hops that also linger in the finish and offer a moderate amount of bitterness. Hints of pine resin hops are also noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very hoppy brown ale - it's like a hybrid between a brown ale an IPA, except that the IPA-like hop bitterness wins out in the taste.

Photo of minterro
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at Grapes and Grains in Denver CO

A&S: Great looking beer. Dark brown colored beer. Creamy light tan colored head has great retention and leaves layers of lacing. Aroma consists of lots of sugary caramel malts.

T&M: Alcohol centered taste. Again a good malt backbone, but by midtaste it is overcome by a big earthy and hoppy presence. Surprising bitter, dry finish. Crisp even with a larger body, however it doesn't really work with this beer.

Overall: Something just isn't working for me with this beer. A bit disappointed by this beer, wouldn't recommend, not because it bad, just because there are better options for the price. I would recommend dogfish head's indian brown over this beer.

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Bottled May 2014

A: poured into a nonic pint to a barely translucent brown with some red highlights and topped by a two finger dense and rocky light tan head that is slow to fade and leaves excellent lacing
S: smells of dank, resinous and oily hops with some pine aroma. slight toasted malt aroma but it's very well hidden
T: taste is toasted malt and citrusy hops plus some pine resin. slight malty sweetness but a lot of bitterness. a little brown sugar in the middle but the hops provide a nice balance and there's some woody flavor. swallow is roasty malt with some oily pine hops and some lingering citrus
M: medium in the mouth with soft carbonation and a oily hop finish that keeps things from drying out
O: Probably a little too heavily hopped for a brown ale but this beer has it going on. Even after almost seven months this beer still brings a lot of hop flavor. There's still some solid complexity and the flavors are good as well. Avery's yeast doesn't seem to attenuate very well so there is still a good amount of sweetness to this beer.

Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a dark brown hue with a one finger frothy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured roasted malts, a touch of caramel and a light hop spice.

The taste offered a clean roasted malt, charcoal, and a neat herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was clean and dry.

Overall a superior dry, hoppy ale.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Clear deep amber brown color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is a touch below average and just a few strands of lacing are left.

3.5 S: This sure is interesting. Citrusy, floral, and slightly herbal hops stand out. The citrus is pretty nondescript. Meshing surprisingly well is a toasty nuttiness from the base.

3.25 T: Taste is hop forward as well. This time there's a big orange and lemony citrus component that tastes almost like a sweetness. Floral behind that. Moderate to heavy bitterness. The base beer gets somewhat lost underneath. The nutty toasty flavors are much harder to find.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy with a bitter finish.

3.0 D: Can't say I'm a fan of this. I'll give it that it's better than most black IPAs, but it's still a grouping of flavors that don't work together.

Photo of Zorro
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear brown colored ale with a small light brown colored head.

Smells mildly sweet with with a bit of piney hop. Scents of brown bread. Not a real aromatic beer.

Starts out mildly sweet and fairly malty. Medium bitterness and mildly hoppy.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a decent hoppy brown ale.

Photo of CHickman
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

On tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY; pours very dark brown color with 2 finger foamy tan head that faded slowly and left really good foamy lacing and rings as it went down. Smells of molasses, brown sugar, piney hops, grapefruit, caramel, cocoa powder, roasted grains and coffee beans. Nice mix of malt and hops with good balance and roasted notes coming through the sweetness of the malt and hop aroma combo. Tastes like it smells, with molasses, toffee, brown sugar, piney hops, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus hops, caramel, cocoa powder, roasted grains, coffee bean, leafy spices like tea leaf and pepper. Very tasty, smooth and easy to drink, this was a lot more hoppy than most brown ales yet still maintained the nice malty base and rich sweetness that makes for a solid brown ale. Really good brew and very above average for the style.

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Avery Anniversary Ale - Twenty One from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.