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Avery Anniversary Ale - Fifteen - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Avery Anniversary Ale - FifteenAvery Anniversary Ale - Fifteen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

442 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 442
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 17.83%
Wants: 6
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.68% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ArrogantB on 04-27-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 442 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of midaszero
2.32/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Cloudy yellow with ok head

S - sour with figs and some pepper

T - Odd taste hard to nail down. Can definitely pick up on the pepper though.

M - Good feel and smooth

D - It was worth trying but I won't be getting it again

Tried both the bottled and tap. Tap was better IMO but I have a couple bottles I am going to try and age and see how they turn out.

Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass for the review, also had a few bombers of it at home.

Appearance - golden, cloudy, lots of small bubbles, ½ finger white head

Smell - funky, barn/hay aroma, some fruity notes

Taste - lots of funk, straw, moss, bread, citrus near the end, dry, tastes like Greeley, I tasted figs from the bomber but on tap I taste raisin.

Mouthfeel - high carbonation, light body

Drinkability - I really like it but like most intense flavor beers I can't drink too much in one sitting. As long as it's out I'll start many an evening with one of these.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper/honey body with extra-ample carbonation rising to 2-finger cappucino foam with nice seam as well as chunky, decent lacing.

Phew...crazy, sour horse-blanket funky stench. Beyond that, a little citrus and pine. Not my thing, but seems to be well-done.

The brett quality shows up but this is surprisingly clear, clean and mild with a little sudsy feel to it.

Tingly feel from carbonation - tight barnyard character - sort of backs up on palate - a little aftertaste consistent with initial gulp.

Well made but not for me - actually flavor doesn't bring it in line with the feel.

Photo of Goliath
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with a thin white head that appears and quickly disappears. No lacing.

Aroma doesn't hold a lot for me. Some fruitiness as well as a subtle tart aroma. Nice though.

Taste is odd. I'm getting a lot of malt, and that's strange to me. Seems biscuity. It really doesn't seem that tart. I was really hoping for a lot more, but there's nothing really there.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with a gentle carbonation tingle.

Drinkability is fairly low. Alcohol is manageable, but flavor just isn't there. I was hoping for much more tartness, and much less malt.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a flute

Pours a pretty golden/orange amber with a fluffy bone white head that subsided and had decent staying power. Very little lacing left behind.

Has a cave-like, funky, oak smell....very earthy. Spices, smoke, fig, booze, lemon zest....odd combination.

Unlike anything I have ever tasted. The Brett, lemon and spices really come through on the palate. Slight figs, only because I know its there, but not overly prevalent. A little on the tart side.

Crisp and medium bodied.

I didn't have a problem getting this one down. It was a different flavor profile than I am used to, but really not an issue.

Photo of beerkittycat
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is gold to slightly amber. Slight haze but decent for a conditioned bottle. Rough off-white head lingers for a moment and disappears. Interesting aromas. Brett definately present but the malt actually dominates with the hibiscus, fig and hops delicately balanced altogether. Taste is much the same as aroma but Brett starts to compete with strong malts as the brew warms up. The hibiscus, fig and hop are a nice balance to the Brett. Medium to medium-full body with a nice touch of carbonic bite at the tip of the tongue. Hop bitterness is just enough to remind you of their presence and complements the sourness from the Brett. A very full-flavored beer but nothing really dominates in this beer because it is so nicely balanced between malt, hops, and Brett. I suppose this beer is too mild in Brett flavor and aroma for the style so I will "ding" it for that, but I really enjoyed this beer. I would expect this beer would get more "horsey" as it ages so shelve it for a bit if that's what you like. Or, get two and drink one now and save one for later for comparison.

Photo of BrewmasterNPB
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought Fifteen because I wanted to try a 100% Brett beer. I was actually surprised at how close to a Saison it tasted. I realize that they are similar styles, both being Belgian farmhouse ales, but I expected the brett yeast to deliver a funkier flavor.
It was a straw colored beer that didn't have much head, and was cloudy- all of which seems stylistically appropriate.
The aroma didn't suit me, even keeping style in mind, it sort of smelled like feet, with a slight malty aroma.
It was tart, but not sour like I expected. The brett flavors were surprisingly muted and I was able to drink it rather quickly.
I think it's worth trying and I would order it if I found it on tap.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle

A: Pours a clear golden under a white head. Some lace and retention.

S: Apples, some caramel, very tart, big funk. Nice nose.

T: Tart up front, bit of earthy yeast, funk kicks in at the tail end. A bit lacking and off balance for my taste. Not getting any of the spice, herbs or figs which would have done well to balance out the funk.

M/D: Light bodied, bubbly, dry, could be better. Drinkability is about average. This one is just a little off in the taste department.

Photo of Fishbowled
1.9/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Serving type: Bottle - 22oz

Purchased at Hollingshead.

A- Poured into 3 different glasses: pint glass, tulip, and mug. This beer pours a light, cloudish yellow, with a slight hint of orange. Huge head and extremely bubbly pour for the first (3+ finger), 2nd was a 2 finger head, and the 3rd was a 1 finger. They dissapated accordingly, but the 3 finger needed a spoon to scoop the thickness (seriously not a messed up pour, i swear), leaving minimal lacing.

S- This is one of the craziest beers I've ever smelled. It's a mixture of rotten fruit, stinky cheese, mustard seed, a sour twist, with other earthy smells. Frankly, it smells even worse the warmer it gets. It's not pleasent at all...

T- WOW, this beer tastes even worse than it smells. I've never been to prison, but I've heard countless stories of the alcohol they make in there - by more than one person who has made it- and from every description I've been given, this would be exactly what I would imagine it tasting like. The first taste I picked up was an overpowering rotten fruity concoction. The same rotten cheese notes were present as well. Call me crazy, ,but it has a hint of mustard SEED (a little different than same mustard). This beer still has a bit of tartness and a good deal of yeasty notes on the finish. This to me was something I would NEVER expect Avery to brew... definately the worst tasting brew (of an outstanding brewery), I've had of theirs

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium, with a yeasty feel and after-taste. The first glass poured was extremely carbonated, and actually retained it for a longer period than the others. The last seemed semi flat. It was a rather violent bottle-cap opening, and there seemed to be a little more carbonation than usual.

D- If you found this beer to be good, you could probably drink a bomber, but you'd have to be one crazy person to drink a full one.

From what I had heard (before reading the reviews), I thought it would be a refreshing farmhouse. This was actually the biggest letdown of any beer I've ever had. I've never reviewed any other beer before (nor do I have an urge to review anymore b/c you guys have a way with words that I don't), but this horrible experience was motivation enough to write this sole review. I bought another to try a year or so from now, and hopefully then, it will completely change (high hopes). Let me add that I love every single Avery beer, and would go to Boulder, CO just to visit them, but this beer was absolutely horrible. I jumped into this review thing with a big splash, and might be flamed for my criticism, but holy crap - this beer was straight up the most un-Avery thing possible. I can't believe they actually made this an anniversary brew... ouch...

Worth a try to see if you like it, but not recommended if you have any dislike for prison beer.

Can I please get a big beer next year??? I know you have it in you...

Serving type: bottle

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.41/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

That old familiar distinctive beautiful odor. Deep roast/burnt aromas. Exotic fruit, spice, and particularly pepper. Chemical kind of notes add an interesting complexity - the best way I can describe it is the precise smell, in my memory, of burning hair... that sounds horrible, but it is interesting. Also some wet animal, maybe I could say horse blanket. But beneath all that, if you push the wild side away and smell down deep, there's sweet-smelling malt and luscious hops.

Golden color, good clarity, nice head, poor retention.

After swirling all the wild aromas around my nose, I'm surprised at how tame the flavor is. Good malty body greets the tongue, with dry, toasty tones, a grainy disposition, and a soft sweetness. A solid and light almost-green-apple tartness - not a puckering malic tart, more of a dry citric tart. Grassy also comes to mind. Some of that chemical burning hair works its way into the flavor - again, incredibly interesting. Apple-like fruit sweetness and sensation, as wells as the essence of honey. There's some alcohol noticeable in the back, not much.

There's a good bit of ever-growing tannic bitterness like biting into the stem of a grape - tasty antioxidants! Spicy/zesty Belgian yeast notes become more pronounced. The honey-like and exotic characters of the sweetness also develops a little deeper and bloom together with that burning hair to remind me of mango. Warmer still, I get a good, strong herbal tea flavor - hibiscus? I suppose.

Medium-thick body with dry, dull carbonation.

The best one-word description for the flavor would be 'mottled' I think. There are a lot of indescribable natural/earthy flavors going on and running into each other. Many, if they were visible, would be brown and ugly - like German food. Due to the complete weirdness of these awkward flavors all together, and thanks largely to the most prominent and promiscuous of flavors - to this reviewer - the burning hair, I'm having a complete blast drinking this beer.

As the ounces left in my sniffer dwindle, I am deeply saddened that this bottle is not a replenishable spring of funk and must. I will miss it.

*Final Notes:
Avery 15 was a truly extraordinary (beer drinking) experience that I will not soon forget. Kudos indeed!

Photo of Tdizzle
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Vendome Fullerton. I'm editing my review upon giving this beer a second try. I think that my first review was influenced by the inital negative response to this beer. A Belgian-style farmhouse ale brewed with hibiscus leaves, white pepper, black mission figs, and Brettanomyces.

A- Poured into a Duvel tulip glass, this beer pours a clear dark straw color with a bubbly white head that dissipates quickly, leaving barely any lacing.

S- Musty barnyard hay and tart notes of wild yeast are the two main characteristics of the aroma. There are some very spicy, herbal and floral notes as well, which is probably due to the hibiscus and white pepper. Green apple sweetness and alcohol emerge as the beer warms. The smell reminds me of a petting zoo.

T- The same funky barnyard notes of the aroma are present in the taste. A very strong flavor of musty grain is quickly overtaken by a bit of sourness and some spicy, yeasty notes on the finish, which also leaves a lingering metallic twinge on the palate that I could do without. The fig flavors are slightly noticeable.

M- A medium-bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation, but it's also slightly oily and slick, coating the inside of the mouth.

D- I was almost able to finish an entire bomber of this before I had enough of the farm animal aspect of this interesting brew.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit more the second time around. A must try beer for anyone seeking a unique drinking experience.

Photo of HalfFull
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber haze, not quite Belgium and not quite Hefeweizen in color. Smell is floral and earthy with definite sour notes. Lacing and head are thin and fleeting.

Sour smell segues to a thin earthy musk yet doesn't effect the taste of this beer. Sour yeast overwhelms the flavor and provides a decent feel for this beer.

Photo of goochpunch
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a hazy dark gold with a decent sized egg-shell white head. Left a few bits of lace. Smells strongly of a petting zoo complete with droppings. Good amounts of funk and a "fungal" character I tend to get from brett. Nice, but there's a weird residual sugar thing that gets to me. Taste is solid all-around in the funk category. Mushrooms, earth and "barnyard" are all well-represented. As in the smell, there's an odd sweetness that I didn't care for. There was also sort of a flatness in the finish that didn't seem to work all that well with the mild acidity that precedes it. Didn't really pick up on any hibiscus or figs, but the white pepper did lend a pleasant spiciness to the already mentioned flatness in the finish. Mouthfeel is moderate in carbonation and in weight on the tongue (although slightly leans more toward more than moderate). Drinkability is good for a shot at a brett beer from Avery, for sure. It would be interesting to see them experiment more with beers like this.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: Hazy golden body, thin white head.

s: Funk. Smells like a horse. Sour, almost vinegar like aroma. Mostly though, it smells like a horse.

t: Hay, lemon, apples, grass, some mild sourness and a good tart finish.

m: Light with a nice carbonation bite.

d: Interesting. Not what I expected. An intriguing beer that would probably be greatly improved with aging. I wish it were more tart and sour.

Photo of allengarvin
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a Duvel glass, this beer is a cloudy orange-amber color with a modest but lasting head. Oh! I didn't realize this was a lambic/sour type beer until the aroma hit me. Tart, vinegary, with some underlying funkiness. Interesting flavor. Not nearly as sour as most (genuine) lambics or flemish sours, but it's got a nice tart metallic fruit flavor and a surprising amount of hops. It lacks complexity, but it's still quite drinkable... well, at first. By the end of the bottle I was getting kind of tired of it. Would have been better appreciated in a 12-oz bottle than a bomber.

Photo of jamie2dope
1.97/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Picked up a bomber of this beer last night. I don't get many chances to sample wild ales, so this one was an easy choice. Poured in to a red wine glass a nice looking blood orange color, with more head than was expected. White heading sticks to the sides of the glass, and holds up pretty well. Smell is how I expected: some light sour fruit, basement funk, a bit of vinegar; overall good. Taste on the other hand was a complete one eighty. The only thing that came to mind is old milk, with a really weird stinky cheese taste. Some tartness sticks in there in the background, but not nearly enough to suppress the nasty dairy taste. Mouthfeel was weird in that although it wasn't that big, the flavors almost made me believe that it was as thick as milk. I also have to say that I am the last person to dump a brew down the sink, but I did in this case. It was simply a foul beer. I still like Avery a lot, but I have no idea what they were going for with this stuff. Go for the Fourteen if you can find it.

Photo of dsa7783
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle... Just recently available in stores...
"A refreshingly tart, fruity, funky, farmhouse ale"... on the front logo sticker...
Key ingredients include Figs, hibiscus flowers, and white pepper...
Pours a hazy, cloudy, dull-orange colored hue with a decent sized foamy head that quickly dissipated and left a minimal amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
For almost $8 a bottle, I was really expecting more from this in terms of all-around flavor...
Very tart, bittersweet, funky, earthy aroma and taste pervades this brew... Slightly sour flavor added to an all-around "missed" shot at the style... Really hard to pinpoint a particular description of this one, with so much being thrown around in the mix...
Mouthfeel wasn't bad, but certainly nothing to write home about, and drinkability was pretty poor...
Not recommended...

Photo of Bitterbill
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours from foil wrapped 22oz bottle a clear and very bubbly straw gold with a 1 finger head of foam. Head retention is only average because halfway through, it's almost gone but there was some nice lacing early in the session.

Smell wise, the funk is certainly there in spades, acutally I can't smell anything else but that in itself is very inviting.

The taste is strange. Yes, I get a lot of that good funk and I'm down with, but there's also a lemon zest thing going on that I don't think adds much to the overall flavour except in the finish and reading this is a wild ale, where's the sour? I *love* sour and I'm disappointed that it's not there and that I'm only getting the Brett(very good thing), some lemon, a bit of honey, and some decent peppery notes.

The mouthfeel is lightish and right for the style, the carbonation is medium light which works well for sure, and it finishes with a lemon tartness and some more funk and that also works well. I guess the only thing I realy have to bitch about is the lack of sour notes. Oh well, it's still pretty tasty and quite drinkable for me and if I can say that I like it, which I do, that's all that counts. Would I seek it out again. Yep.

Photo of turbine2475
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours honey colored with a quickly forming massive head that disipated even quicker leaving a spotty lace.
S - Funky. Smells of garbage disposal leavings and soured meats. Is a little different, but not bad for a young bret.
T - Soured citrus, maze, grain, and floral hops.
M - Chewy with a decent carbonation and a sour coating that lingers.
D - Decent brew. Not the best wild ale I have had, but with some age this one could be pretty nice.

Photo of FranklinPCombs
2.49/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle, from Bauer W&S

Appearance is decent enough. Head is not overwhelming, and diminishes fast enough. There is a good deal of lacing, which I like. The color is a golden honey, complimented by the stark white head. Lots of bubbles flowing up from the bottom.

The smell is unpleasant. The only thing I could think of was a spoiled leg of lamb I bought from the butcher once. It is peppery and a bit slimy (if that makes sense). The more I smell it the more it reminds me of the smell of prosciutto, crossed with musty flower petals. Not a good combination.

The taste carries over from the smell, though not to the same degree of distaste. There is much more wheaty taste, and a bit of stale hops, but there is still a good deal of rancid meat...

Mouthfeel is good, the kind of large tingly bubbles that compliment the taste of wild fermentation well, releasing the funk of Brettanomyces. Unfortunately it ends up releasing the overabundance of lackluster funk this beer is overpowered by.

There's not much drinkability here... The taste/smell is just too discordant with the tart flavors that I love so much and was hoping for in this beer. The label claims figs, hibiscus and white pepper. I didn't taste much of any of these, and I can't see how they contributed to the flavor.

All in all, I was very disappointed by this beer. I've tried a few American wild ales, and so far I haven't found any that have been able to balance the rich, tart character of wild fermentation with the wide and sometimes outlandish variety of spices/flavors the style tends to make use of.

Photo of drumrboy22
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice. Beer was a hazy, peach color with a one finger, white head. Moderate carbonation and lacing.

Aroma was earthy and funky, with notes of fruit, pepper, flowers and hay.

Taste was mildly sour, funky and earthy. Notes of lemon, funky yeast and other farmhouse flavors.

This was a weird one for me. I love this style of beer, but I was a little let down by this one. It was just so-so for me. Still, I'm interested to see how it changes over time.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy pale orange color. The head is a billowy two inches in height, and recedes slowly into a thick half inch cap of lacing which lasts until the beer is gone. The aroma is floral, with figs and dates and enough bretta sourness to give it a sweet and sour smell. The taste has more of the dark fruits than the aroma. There is some sourness, but it seems to be overpowered by the sweet malt, and fruit combination. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a high level of carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer. It isn't the best bretta beer I have had, but it is drinkable. I think the dark fruits throw it a bit off balanced in the taste, but with time and bottle conditioning that might mellow out.

Photo of Billolick
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber bottle, "bottled in April, 2008", label pays homage to famous Belgian painters. Gold foil over the cap. Pours clear initially, the yeast cake on the bottom of the bottle creates cloudy later pours. Minor lacing left from the short lived eggshell head. Carbonation on the low side. Allowed to warm, the nose is of Brett laced horseyness. Sourness is quite moderate, I get licorice notes, some coriander, some farmy and sour funk and not much else. I will do my best to get a few bottles more of this one and let em sit around for a year or so to see if the Brett kicks in more fully. This fresh bottle seems to have a ways to go to reach its complexity and interest apogee.

Photo of GClarkage
2.89/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

05/19/08- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 Avery anniversary release. Poured into my Pilaarbijiter glass.

Appearance- Champagne-like golden in color with effervescent bubbles rising to the top. Looks a tad greasy if that makes sense. Small 1/2 inch quickly evaporating head.

Smell- Farmhouse funk. Horse urine, earth and hay. Also a weird grainy nose. Overall pretty good though.

Taste- At first, I wasn't as turned off on this beer as everyone else...until I got halfway through the bottle. It kind of tastes like a pils-saison-wild ale. Has a grainy and saaz like hop flavor with a drying saison spice flavor followed by a good dose of brett. The more you get into it, the carbonation turns flat, the grain intensifies and you pick up metallic and medicinal notes. It never was as sour as it should be either.

Mouthfeel- At first carbonation was brisk and spot on, but then it got a touch watery and flat. Leaves a funky metallic flavor in your mouth as well.

Drinkability- I went in with an open mind, but in the end it got poured out. Started out fine, but ended in the toilet.

Photo of Domingo
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Falling Rock on 5/16/08.
Arrives an off-yellow color that's not quite tan. It's cloudy and has a weird white sheen on top that's thicker than expected. Looks a little like a wheat beer.
Smells really sour and peachy. It definitely has the Belgian spicy yeast smell, too. Reminds me of a funky Festina peche.
Taste starts with a bitter bite and then goes to sour with the peach flavor. Alcohol is very prominent, and the hops add more bitterness to that. Funky yeast dominates the back end, and the actual finish is really woody. Tons of depth...but it's not really good depth.
The texture is weird. It seems like it should go down easier than it does.
I think this one sounds better on paper than in practice. At first you'll drink it to pick up the nuances and to see if you like it. Once I was 2/3 done, I really didn't want any more.
I admire the yearly Avery anniversary beers, but this has been my least favorite of the last 5. 13 is still a masterpiece, though.
I might revisit this one one more time from a bottle just to see if it's any different.

EDIT: After having this in a bottle, I will say that it was better and a little more straightforward than the tap version. I'm still not really picking up any fig flavors, but I'm definitely getting more straightforward Belgian funky flavors rather than just a sour assault. The bottled version's definitely better to me.

Avery Anniversary Ale - Fifteen from Avery Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.