1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Collaboration Not Litigation Ale - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Collaboration Not Litigation AleCollaboration Not Litigation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,441 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,441
Reviews: 709
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 41
Gots: 181 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.72% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: FtownThrowDown on 01-23-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,441 | Reviews: 709 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickss
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2... bottled in Feb, 2008

Poured into a chalice.... a very pretty reddish-brown mahogany color with about 1 finger of rocky head which shows remarkable resilience. Extremely active carbonation.

A deep nuttiness in the aroma... lots of malt with a barely perceptible kick of alcohol. Fig and yeast come to the forefront toward the end.

Rock candy and fig... and almost bubble-gum quality is slightly noticeable... not to say its sweet... this one carries enough maltiness and depth to give it some backbone. Quite nice. As it warms, some molasses comes through... alcohol is not perceptible aside from the slow warming sensation.

The carbonation is certainly active, but it definitely works here. Absolutely flawless mouthfeel... perfect "chewy" thickness to combat the carbonation.

Very very drinkable for the abv.... quite a dangerous brew. Avery has really outdone themselves with this one. Congrats to a brewery which has impressed me more and more in recent years.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Transparent honey color. 2" head and massive lacing in thick and pillowy, fluffy sheets. 1/8" film on top surface sticks around with nice retention for the entire drink.

S- Buttery and citrusy. Sweet smells too that reminds me of maple syrup. Hops are subtle with a hint of sourness.

T- Sweet but bitter with caramel-like backbone. Somewhat citrusy and very buttery. Touch of sour from the yeast, but not too in-your-face. Alcohol is slightly there in the taste; not completely hidden.

M- Medium to thick and medium to high carbonation.

D- Sweet and malty with warming and noticable alcohol tastes take away a little from the drinkabilty factor.

Photo of saintwarrick
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very cloudy amber, bottle conditioned, so that second pour may end up with some sediment, but ends with a lacy white head. Aroma is sweet candied sugar and some light fruitiness, but nothing all that distinct. Taste shows a little citrus and some dark fruit like plums and figs but nothing overwhelming. Some bitter notes in the aftertaste counteract the sweetness. Some alcohol is noticeable over time.

A typical dark Belgian ale, nothing to set it apart except a little more sweetness than usual. Worth trying for lovers of the style.

Photo of jar2574
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy brown colored beer, with less head than average.

The smell doesn't do much for me, there's just not much to it. Maybe some malts. No fruitiness. Unexpected for this type of beer.

I like the taste, but this is one of my favorite styles, and I think it compares poorly to others within the style. It's got a malty, earthy taste with just a little bit of sugar. Sort of syrupy, the mouthfeel is pretty chewy. But it goes down easily and the alcohol is well disguised.

Undistinguished for this style though. Lacks complexity.

Photo of soupyman10
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprising this one's called a dark. More likely it's a medium. Nice deep amber color with a couple fingers of white head on top that leaves okay lacing. Nose is strong on spices, citrus, wheat, and some light caramel. Taste is similar, with a nice batch of alcohol tossed in, along with some dried fruit. Feel is better than average, fairly thick and tasty. Overall, this one's a solid beer, although nothing too out of control.

Photo of AylwinForbes
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In terms of an archetypal Belgian strong ale this nails it very well. Dark walnut amber with modest head, nose of baking spices and aromatics, malt, fruit, dried apricots, apples, chewy and sippable; I preferred it as it warmed up. The sweetness and fruitiness become better resolved and clarified as the chill dissipates.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2, 22oz bottle served in a chalice. Poured a hazy amber/gold with a thin off white head. Clove spiciness and some burnt sugar in the aroma. Medium bodied with some malt sweetness. Nice spicy flavor, a slight mustiness in the finish. A slight hop bitterness. Very drinkable and enjoyable to me. Nothing mind blowing however.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2, bottled Feb08. An amber color with a medium sized white head. Nice aroma of banana and bread. I tasted bananas pretty much all the way through, but got a tinge of perfume at the end. Not unpleasant, just a bit surprising. I thought this was a pretty enjoyable beer.

Photo of DIM
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

batch #2

a: This was a clear, light golden amber color. It poured with a big, creamy, dirty white head; decent lace and retention.

s: Aromas of sweet, very ripe bananas and some darker fruits are most noticeable. Sourdough bread, some candied sugar, and alcohol were present as well.

t: Dry and perfumed are the first words that come to mind. Herbal cloves and bananas give way to a floral alcoholic finish.

m: I liked the long lasting, gentle carbonation. I didn't like the dry, perfumed finish though.

d: Great concept, good beer. I loved RR's Salvation, now I just need to try Avery's for comparison purposes.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Somewhat light root beer-brown, clear when held up to the light, like an English brown ale. Head is beige, kinda small, and pretty weak, not quite fizzy but very active, which undermines its retention severely.

Smell: Awesome. Huge roasted/toasted notes, like toasted rye bread and roasted almonds, plus some berry-packed red wine in the background and an earthy-spicy character that reminds me of nutmeg and allspice. Lightly fruity as well, with orange notes underscored with a touch of cocoa and some brown sugar. And a breeze of piney hops wafts over the whole thing.

Taste: Very tasty. Nice and roasty just as the nose predicted, with a powdery/tannic dryness to it. In the shadow of the nutty/cocoa/toffee malts there is a current of fruit: bananas, white wine, golden raisins, and orange peel. There's also some woody qualities from the malts and hops. Finish is nice and dry, with a lingering spice from the alcohol and hops and yeast. I expected much more sourness from what I've read about RR's Salvation, but it seems to be almost completely obscured here, except for a slight tang from the fruit notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very creamy. Pleasantly and surprisingly dry for an ale with such a hearty malt character.

Drinkability: This is a very interesting Belgian dark ale, though I must say, it's not as interesting as I had hoped/expected. Still very good, and I'm pretty thrilled to have found a bottle - in Japan, no less!

Photo of sschliv
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber Decent amount of beige head.

Not much of a smell. I would say light caramel.

A fairly balanced taste with a very bitter ending.

Goes down very smooth. Average carbonation with a alcohol warming sensation after each sip.

Very drinkable despite the high alcohol content.

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Samuel Adams glass.

A: pours clear, brown/amber, with some head.

S: grainy, bready, noble/floral hop, caramel.

T: dark dried fruit, malt, sweet bread, brown sugar, caramel with maybe a slight hint of licorice toward the end. Ends in a floral/herbal hop bitterness. More bitter than a typical belgian strong ale, but a nice contrast.

M: slightly sticky, heavy feeling, carbonation is a little light for the style but not unfavorable.

D: overall a very enjoyable beer. I picked up this beer not knowing what to expect, and my second experience with an Avery beer is very favorable. Not as delicate as a Trappist-style strong ale, I detect more bitterness in this version, which puts a nice touch and differentiation on this. Well worth trying.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a bottle a clear red amber with a small beige head.

Aroma of sweet malt, caramel, dark ripe fruits, and some nuttiness.

The taste is bright and fruity. Dark ripe fruits, caramel, and brown sugar. The alcohol is fairly well hidden but still warms the mouth.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth, and a zing to the carbonation.

Very drinkable considering the alcohol and quite enjoyable.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rubbish amber hue with very thin sediment hanging amidst this rusty amber beer. No head and very light bubbling. Great color, but not the look I as expecting from a Belgian. Very caramely fruit, and a little spicey alcohol in the nose. Light maraschino cherries, caramel coriander, and walnuts. The palate is slightly sweet and syrupy. Very warm, but not not very smooth or soothing.

Photo of halfP1NT
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is deep amber brown, thick, white head. Leaves a thick blanket of lacing around the top of the glass.

Smell is not very strong, but almost reminds me of a nut brown. Sweet nuttiness, a bit of fruit, like cherries. Alcohol starts to come through as it warms.

Taste is very much like the aroma, sweet nuttiness & sweet cherry. Alcohol doesn't make an appearance until I near the bottom of my glass, but it has a strange flavor on the sides of my tongue that almost reminded me of a spirit, like vodka.

Low carbonation, a bit syrupy. Very yeasty in the aroma and taste. Sweetness coats my entire mouth. I felt like there was something lacking in this strong dark Belgian ale. When the alcohol did make an appearance after the beer warmed a it, it was sort of an off-putting flavor. I'm glad I tried this beer, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way for it again.

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a uniform amber brown with a thick pillowy cream colored head and tons of sticky lacing.

Aroma is surprisingly subdued, quite dry with dark fruit, brown sugar, and mild spices.

Taste is sweet and yeasty up front. Caramel malt base, brown sugar, and a dry yeasty character. Dark fruit comes on strong - fig and plum. Alcohol burn is noticeable, but not in a bad way. Finish is mildly bitter with earthy hops and has a metallic sting.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Mild carbonation.

An interesting brew that is well worth a try. Although not quite what I would expect for the style. Overall a sweet, but rather mild brew.

Photo of yourefragile
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a goblet at Liberty St Tavern in Allentown.

A: Tawny brown with a thick, creamy tan head with great retention and some sticky lacing.
S: Sweet, spicy malt. Molasses, cinnamon, a little fruitiness.
T: Medium bodied, creamy, adequate carbonation, slightly watery finish. Taste follows the nose, slightly cloying, lots of sweet, spicy maltiness with a little caramel. Slight taste of alcohol, but no burn. Not best of this style, but very nice. Liked this better than RR's Salvation.

Photo of 0110x011
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light coppery brown into a chalice, with little head to speak of. Nose is fruity and flowery, with caramel and Belgian yeast. Taste is sweet, fruity, and caramelly, but balanced with a bitter bite at the end. Its a fairly heavy brew, but creamy at the same time. Enjoyable, but I probably won't go out of my way to find it.

Photo of Gehrig
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great pick-up from the sterling Sun Singer, Collaboration pitches two fingers of off-white froth atop a clear brown-copper body. Nice aromas, full of chocolate, caramel, fruity hops, and some spice. The taste is excellent. The chocolate and caramel carry the day, making this smooth and somewhat creamy. But the fruity hops infuse berry and orange as well, enriching this in great depth. Terrific. Just as important, the mouthfeel is very good, creamy and well-carbonated. What a good pick-up.

Were it not for the high ABV, this would veer on the verge of being a quaffer. A dangerous combination--creamy, smooth, flavorful, and potent. Highly recommended.

Photo of Portertime
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am liking the dark. Good job Avery. Pours a cloud covered dark amber. Smells of yeast, banana, cherries,hint of clove. Tastes dancing on the tongue, bready with a hint of banana and clove, maybe some orange peel. Refreshing and well balanced. Easy drinking. I enjoyed it in a bubble glass.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2-ation. Pours a very cloudy (un-Avery like but it is a collaboration) lighter amber color with red hues throughout. A decent pour leaves a thick eggshell white colored head with great retention and lacing through out the sampling.

The nose is young but some stronger Belgian qualities and hints of Brett. Sweeter malty aromas with some lighter bready and biscuit aromas that mix well with the cand aroma. Nice Belgian and spicy qualities. Noticeable banana and rose phenols that don't quite hid the solvent/fusel alcohol nose. Darker fruits, like prunes and figs come out as well. Some coriander and clovers.

The taste is similar to the nose. Up front there is a sweeter candi-esk malt taste. Lighter bready flavors as well. Belgian yeast characteristics with a more of a dubble presence. Banana and cloves comes out more as the figs and plums are limited. Some lighter brett, horse blanket is detectable in the back end. Some noticeable fusels as well.

The body is closer to mid but has some fuller aspects. Overall this is a fun beer but best to age. After some time I will have to revisit this beer.

Photo of waldoiverson
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle of Batch #2 poured in tulip glass

A - slightly cloudy dark caramel color. the head was pillowing in the tulip glass, slightly off white in color. the head settled within 3 minutes but then left a nice film and tight lacing on the sides.

S - can def. smell the belgian style yeast. there is a sweetness with a hint of spice but certainly not overwhelming.

T - I wasn't sure what to expect but was very happy. It is sweet but almost a burnt sort of sweet. The alcohol is there if you really aspirate the beer but otherwise well balanced.

M - It is a sticky beer with the malt and yeast staying on the palate. After a full bottle, my mouth was slightly overwhelmed but i'm not complaining :_

D - I am going to get a second bottle and age it to see what happens to the alcohol presence. This isn't a session beer but it is a darn good beer.

Photo of 1759Girl
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

RETIRED?! Crazy... I just had this two weeks ago in Berkeley. Boo!
It was sooo tasty!
Appearance> Rootbeer color, small head. Huge, frothy head. Lacing
Smell> Yeast, dark wheat, rye.
Taste>tart start, almost salty. rush of hops, yeasty, bitter with a rye bread hang. Nice dark strong.
Mouthfeel> quote lifted from a friend who tasted it with me, "It's like a rainbow rolling across my palette."-credit> Eric Carlson.
Drinkability> Great for one or two, but I'd be ruined if I had more than that... I certainly wouldn't be able to pronounce the full name of the beer if I did.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into snifter
Batch #2 - Bottled in Feb. 2008

A - Pours a nice auburn brown color with ruby highlights. Head is nice at about 3/4 inch and off white with tiny bubbles. Laces in sheets when tipped, leaving behind some Brussels lacing as it fades.

S - Nose is sweet with strong dark fruit components and good dose of yeasty spice. The use of "authentic Belgian yeast" as well as the sweet "Belgian candy sugar" is readily apparent. Dark fruit ranges from plum to raisin and combines nicely with the sweet candied scent. Very enticing and complex and true to the style.

T & M - Starts with a good dose of sweetness and some full bodied dark fruit flavors. Carbonation is moderate and provides a good tingly mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden. Finish is oddly steely and seems a bit off to me. Leaves behind an unpleasantly cloying and steely flavor and mouthfeel, distracting from what was previously a very enjoyably beer.

D - My aged bottle of batch #1 had a similar steely finish, leading me to believe it wasn't the aging process that provided that flavor. Nevertheless, alcohol is well hidden and there is some nice complex flavor going on here. Hopefully your bottle wont have that steely finish. A nice venture between two outstanding breweries.

Previous review:
Batch #1 - opened 2/18/08
22 oz bomber poured into St. Bernardus chalice

A - Pours a chestnut brown opaque color with milk chocolate and ruby tints. Head is adequate in size but not massive or frothy like many others. Fades to a thin layer with quick-falling lacing. - 4

S - Scent is strong on the dark fruits, such as plum and raisin. Good amount of sweetness with some candied aspects and some interesting Belgian yeast notes. - 4.5

T & M - Starts with a moderate carbonation tingle and some malty sweetness. Medium bodied. Little to no hop activity. A slight bit of nuttiness accompanies. Alcohol is very well hidden. Tastes a bit sour with a steely flavor in the finish. Maybe the yearlong storage wasn't too kind to this beer. - 3.5 / 4

D - A nice crafted beer that may be past its prime. Alcohol is very well hidden amongst the complexities. A great collaboration between two top notch breweries. - 4

Photo of Avryle
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- nice hazy orange-brown. Minimal cream colored head. Nice lacing.

S- Heavy sweet malts, figs, dates, raisins & apples

T- Sweet malts with heavy dark fruits. Finishes with tangy apples & booze

M- Full bodied, almost syrupy. brief, active carbonation on initial sip.

D- take this one slow as its intended to be. This is a good one to split.

Collaboration Not Litigation Ale from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.