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Thensaurum - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ThensaurumThensaurum

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

125 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.63%
Wants: 37
Gots: 32 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.89% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RuckusDu on 09-01-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Strong sour ale aged in fresh Gosling's Old Rum barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
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Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Explained as a strong sour ale that had been aged in Gosling's rum barrels- one thing is for sure: when Avery Brewing Company decides to explore imagination and push the envelope, they're not afraid to go balls to the wall!

As the post-ten percent ale pours, it simply looks like cognac with its dark, tawny brown hue that show ribbons of crimson, mauve and mahogany when held in the right light. While any foam character rushes to the edges, its sustained collar eventually succumbs to its own acidity.

Olfactory piercing tartness strikes the nose with a flurry of fruit- sour grapes, crab apples, dried limes, green cherry and cranberry all seem of the under-ripened variety. Light earhten character of of cellar-type must, weathered oak, vinous dry wine, curing leather and fresh-hung tobacco all come to mind as the ale swirls in the glass. All this with a tinge of maple- reminding me of the rum infusion.

The highly acidic flavor strikes the palate as red-wine vinegar, dry and oaken merlot link up to those tangy and sour fruits. All these seemingly out of control flavors are held in a shell of maple and allspice- garnering the taste of rum, but not the associated sweetness from rum. As its spicy finish ensues, a hint of acetone hides just behind all that unapologetic sourness.

While there's a more robust taste to this sour, its tactile sensations are clean with lactic sourness that strips the palate and ushers in high refreshment. Its wood-derived astringency waters the jawls and pricks against the taste buds with all its rummy spice, alcohol warmth and fermented phenols.

Thensaurum is a masterfully created ale that tackles a sense of high gravity and polarizing sourness at the same time. What should have been a disastrous of a beer turns out actually quite irresistible.

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4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

the newest (as far as I know), of the avery barrel ages sours. this is a cool serious, but one that probably should have stopped with oud floris, by far the best and most complex of the lot. this one is unnecessarily alcoholic, and the rum flavors aren't all the way congruent with the highly acidic sour flavor and feel of this reddish brown beer. it smells like chokecherries and oak, not a bad combination, but the almost vinegary sour is evident, and I know from smell alone that this is going to be a real acid bomb. sure enough it is, and with the alcohol it almost hurts to drink. the flavors are intriguing. spiced rum or something similar adds a sweetness that makes the beer a little thick, and the alcohol makes it a slow sipper and a bottle to share. it has that same mouthfeel as all of the other avery sours, I don't know what it is, but im not stoked on it. maybe its their process, but it detracts from what is supposed to stand out about this beer. it could have been in red wine or whiskey for all I know, the rum isn't as specific as I would like it to be, other than the sugar, which doesn't help things. overall a good beer of course, this whole series is unique, but this one is forgettable in comparison to the others, not one I will go back to, especially for the price.

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4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Jason
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a bottled on date.

Look: Deep brownish burgundy hue, good lacing

Smell: Big tartness, wood, mild char, cherries, faint rum, mild spice, faint leather

Taste: Sour throughout, very woody, subtle rum, warming alcohol, green peppercorn, chicory, lemon pith, brown sugar, hint of barrel char, rose water, dry finish

This is one spectacular sour ale, without a doubt a sipper though specially the strength. Great to finally see these beers come to market because Todd and I have been at the brewery when the are pulling nails if you know what I mean.

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4/5  rDev -4.1%

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4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

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4.14/5  rDev -0.7%

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4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass. Gold foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap. Bottled: Aug 15, 2013.

10.89% ABV. Expectations are moderately high - I love Avery's sours when they're done right, but why must they always make the ABV sketchily high - and will rum barrel notes really complement bacterial sourness? Reviewed live as an American sour ale per the label.

Served cold into a teku. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide head. Pale khaki colour. Decent creaminess, thickness, and fullness. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Dark amber colour. Could have more depth and vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate is visible.

Appears aptly (under)carbonated. Not unique or special for a sour, but appealing.

AROMA: Lightly acetic, with traces of pie crust in there. Has a neutral malt base which lends little sweetness, if any. Cream. Faint bacterial character (pedio and lacto). I don't pick up on any overt rum or sugarcane notes, but there is barrel character comprised of suggestions of wood (though not evocative oak) and...something I can't place. Perceived sourness is quite low, actually, maybe a 2-3/10. It's not tart at all. Nor is it fruity. But the slightly Rodenbach-esque acetic character is a stand-out.

Aromatic intensity is mild.

No hop profile, biscuity yeast character, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The acetic character comes through in the taste, and the sourness does pick up - amounting to a 3-4/10 in terms of intensity. I do get pie crust, but not as much as I'd like (see Rodenbach). Bacterial notes are present throughout, but more intensity is needed...why is the ABV so damn high? Why not tone down the ABV/initial malt sugars, go with lower attenuated yeast, and let the bacteria run amok as it should? Why is Avery so damned obsessed with unnecessary high ABVs? The rum barrel character isn't very evocative, but I count this as a good thing - Jamaican rum and sweet sugarcane notes just wouldn't jive with the bacterial fermenters, and I can't see coconut or toastiness working well either. A dampened wood tone ties the beer together, giving it cohesion.

As it warms, notes of green/crab apple, must, faint leather, oak, and vinegar emerge. The leather in particular is apt, and really aids the flavour profile.

Overall, I find it subdued and reticent to its detriment. The alcohol, while shockingly well disguised, still affects the beer negatively; this isn't as alive a beer as it should be, and I can't help but blame the high alcohol content for killing the bacteria prematurely. It's a balanced build, but never comes off gestalt. Complex and subtle enough, but of course there's room for more intricacy. I really like it, and it's a minor success in the style, but with work it could be great. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Good flavour amplitude.

No hop profile comes through, nor does any overt alcohol.

TEXTURE: Has a full and aptly weighty presence on the palate without coming off heavy, burdensome, or overbearing. It's well-carbonated - perhaps even overly so. It's smooth and wet. Could be softer and more delicately handled. Overall presence on the palate is good. This texture doesn't elevate the beer, but complements the taste well. Still, it doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the taste and could use fine-tuning. What really works here is the leathery feel; it's incredible.

The acidity is well above average, but I'd like to see them push it more.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. Doesn't drag on the palate.

OVERALL: A well-executed sour from Avery, but by no means a world class brew. The acetic character is a stand-out, but it's been done far better in other beers. I'd nab this again if it wasn't so damned expensive. If you were hoping to see how prominent rum barrel character affects a sour ale build, you will be disappointed; Avery didn't commit to the rum barrel here. Very drinkable - shockingly so for the ABV. Worth trying once, and a welcome addition to Avery's wild ale roster. But it won't impress the discerning drinker.

Low B+

Drinks well from a teku.

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Thensaurum from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.