Rufus Corvus | Avery Brewing Company

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Rufus CorvusRufus Corvus

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.83%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
85% aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, 9% aged in Chardonnay barrels, 6% aged in Zinfandel barrels

Added by Rhettroactive on 04-25-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 431
Photo of Brob245
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cellared No. 19 bottled on April 7, 2014. Dark in color with very little carbonation left in the beer. Still sour but tons of rich wine characteristic from first sip through finish. Lots of depth in this one as it lingers on the pallet.

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Photo of darktronica
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Over two years in the bottle, and it's still a lovely drink. Still mouth-puckeringly, saliva-inducingly sour, with subtle aromas but big flavors. The wine grapes feature prominently in the finish, and every sip is better than the last; as your sour receptors numb and the beer warms, it opens up a lot of depth and complexity, with more of the base ale and more of the barrels both coming through.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

"No. 19: An artful and massively acidic blend of two major projects and further enhanced with several orphan barrels from the ocrners of our barrel aging cellar. All ale involved was barrel aged for a minimum of 8 months and a maximum of 24 months. Pucker up, buttercup!" Brewed in the style of an American Wild Ale, barrel aged in Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels, Chardonnay Barrels, and Zinfandel Barrels.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy, crisp head of a pale ecru-tan over a moderate brown body with high clarity, bright maple highlights and ample, lively carbonation. Retention is below average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Potent fruity and acidic sourness of fermented vinous red grape character with modestly sweet caramelized malt undertones. Tangy with a moderate potency, incredibly inviting. 4.25

(Taste) Sharp, biting tangy grape sourness forward, nicely balanced finish with a softly sweet malt body. Incredible flavor and sharp sourness without coming off as too dry, an excellent sipper. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual, mildly dry. Carbonation is medium, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is moderately sour over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) An incredible ale with so much pleasing red grape character, not much barrel character specifically, but a lot of fermented grape characters, and the nearly 2 year wait on this beer has paid off. 4.25

Avery Brewing Company's
Rufus Corvus Barrel-Aged Sour Ale

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Photo of DahWag
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Typical Avery malt level gives this an almost caramel flavor. Add that to the rich red wine characteristics and the relatively mild sourness (4/7/14 bottle) and this is a top beer in this category.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy and murky deep amber body. Small white head.

Smell - Really winey. Red wine. Some caramel. Lightly acidic and a bit acetic.

Taste - Caramel. Oak. Some vanilla. Red wine builds up a lot. Not as sour as I thought, but still has a substantial vinegar sourness.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Medium body.

Overall - Great red wine flavor. Almost too much, but this is very good.

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Photo of Pencible
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a cloudy garnet with a bit of light tan head.
S: It smelled like tart apple cider vinegar and funky oak, with some red grapes and brown sugar.
T: It tasted like tannic red wine and tart apple cider vinegar and funky oak. It had a clean lasting bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of carbonation. Nice bubbly body.
D: This was a great sour, with beautifully complex and balanced scent and taste. The body was fitting, although it had a strong aftertaste, so it must be sipped. Age may help, but it doesn't need it. Great brew.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with a murky complexion. A fingernail of beige foam covers half of the top. I definitely pick up the aromas of Cabernet and Chardonnay. The flavor is sour with Brett but is nicely balanced with the wine barrel aging. I definitely taste Zinfandel and Chardonnay. The mouth is highly carbonated and crisp.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big fluffy head builds up for a little bit before settling to a small covering. The body is a deep dark brown with red highlights.

The aroma is full of wine barrel. Tart red fruits like cherries. Slight vinegar, plum, and caramel.

Red wine, wood, cherry, raspberry. Tartness permeates throughout and gets the juices in the mouth flowing. Light and bubbly on the tongue.

Comes off like a Flanders style sour. Really well done.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass. Appealing label art. Gold foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap.

Bottled Apr 7 2014. 6.83% ABV. Served cold into a stem-tulip in high altitude Castle Rock, CO and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a wild ale per the label. Expectations are high given its high ratings and Avery's reputation.

HEAD: One finger wide. Pale khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Not real full or robust. Retention is decent - about 3 minutes - which isn't great for the ABV. Leaves no lacing as the head recedes.

BODY: Dark deep amber-sanguine of average vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special, but it looks good for a wild ale.

AROMA: Dampened oak wood, white zine grapes, some red wine notes, touches of acetic character, spritzy rose wine, neutral Belgian malts, and traces of caramel and vanilla. It's an inviting wine-evocative aroma of above average strength. Wine tannins, a hint of cherry, supple grape. Hints of vinegar and funkiness. The barrel notes are lovely, but I wonder if the base beer is bringing much to the table.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The barrel is just amazing; there's incredible complexity with notes of dampened oak, white wine, rose wine, red wine, vanilla, caramel, and leather. The base is easily imposed upon: some neutral Belgian malts, and darker Belgian bruin malts. I do wish the base beer brought more to the table, but the barrel notes accentuate the guiding sourness so well it's almost a non-issue. Sourness is satisfying but not puckering - maybe a 7/10 in intensity overall. I love the tart cherry, subtle though it is. It tastes legitimately spontaneous, evoking lactobacillus bacteria and even hints of more complex wild yeast/bacteria - lambicus isn't out of the question as far as I'm concerned. Sour green apple notes lend it still more complexity.

Incredibly well-balanced and built. The acetic character really does it for me. Brilliantly subtle, with excellent depth and duration of flavour. Fairly high flavour intensity. I'm loving this.

TEXTURE: Smooth, lightly dry, moderately thick, full-bodied, soft, leathery, and well-carbonated. Some might find it a bit too rough and abrasive on the palate. It's not quite fine-tuned, but this mouthfeel complements the taste well. The acidity from the wine is perfect. It's also surprisingly supple. And the leathery feel grows on you, helping to coax out depth from and accent the flavours.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or scratchy.

OVERALL: It's extraordinarily drinkable, and slides down all too easy. I'll inhale my glass; this is one tasty sour from Avery. It's great work from a good brewery, and I'd love to see more from them. Definitely worth trying. Will impress the discerning drinker. Might even be Avery's best beer.


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Photo of Gmann
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light brown color with a sparse khaki head. Not too much to the head.

The aroma is quite sour. Big oak notes come through. You can really pick up the actual wood aroma. Tart wine grapes and some lemon. A bit of funk from the yeast.

The taste is very tart not really sour. Again big oak presence. The various wine barrels come through. A very pleasant wine flavor. The yeast is a bit funky, gives off a touch of farmhouse.

The feel is light and spritzy. Sweet and tart on the palate with a drying finish. I get a bit of stickiness.

Not a huge fan of wine barrel brews but this one is quite good. The base beer with the yeast is light and funky. The barrel provides excellent oak and wine flavors. Good job.

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Photo of danbar
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Very good sour but not as complex as I was hoping. Did not get as much wine barrel as other Avery sours such as Depuceleuse. Nice level of tartness and carbonation. Was much darker than expected.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

thanks so much to tenderbranson69 for sharing this, enjoyed chilled from a bottle in a goblet.

The color is deep brown with slightly dark red hue with fine bead and light cream color head with retention that is good. The smell is nicely sour in aroma with light malt toastiness and mild spice scent with earthen quality and low fruity ester with some vinous odors in general. The feel is very yeasty with sour acidity and mild fruity tanginess with medium high carbonation and slight malt quality on the palate with mostly dry finish and almost no alcohol in the feel.

The taste is very good -lots of fruit up front with hints of plum and slight toasted grain in the taste with slight cherry-like acidic quality mid palate as the grape and vinous qualities accent the wild yeast flavors with a light brown sugar flavor and almost dark grape-like depth with nice tart yet fruity quality but not intensely sour. This is a very tasty wild ale enchanced by the grape with a dry quenching finish. Very drinkable not bracingly tart just a great example of a wild ale from first taste to last -the barrel aging certainly adds depth and complexity

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle into Hill Farmstead stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a coarse, light cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark mahogany. Lacing is thick, layered and spotty with good cling. Real nice.

Nose is vinegar, charred oak, wet wood and dark red fruit. Tart and aggressive on the nose and decently robust.

Opens tart grape, raspberry and vinegar. A slightly bitter woodiness in the middle with hints of grape skin and red fruit seeds. Foamy and puckering tart vinegar at the end with a bone dry, juicy finish and aftertaste. Good.

Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and bubbly in the mouth and goes down sparkling, dry, and puckering. Messy finish with a lingering, filmy aftertaste. Decent though I'd like something a bit more refreshing.

I'm not a huge fan of darker sours in general and this beer doesn't change my mind on the issue. Solid overall but the vinegar and red fruit presence is pretty one dimensional and a bit too much. Drinks higher than its ABV.

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Photo of Damian
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Bottled: APR 7 2014
Served in a tulip

Really attractive apprarance. An inch tall, tight, bubbly, khaki colored crown topped the tawny, crimson-mahogany liquid. The head slowly dropped to a frothy, lasting ring. Odd shaped drops of lacing trickled along the glass.

The aroma was remarkably crisp and dry. A powdery yeastiness dominated initially. Super woody with a strong oaky, tannic character. The wine barrels were front and center. Really musty. Not very complex however. As the beer sat, the nose became slightly more interesting.

The flavor was much more tart than the nose. It too, however, was not very complex. Super woody and tannic. Uber acetic with loads of red wine vinegar. I might be tempted to refer to this as a "vinegar bomb." Grape-y with hints of sour cherries. Mouth puckering and unbalanced. With time, a touch of sweetness from the malts came forth.

The beer was light and frothy and contained a lively, sprightly effervescence. Super crisp and dry. Once on the palate, the liquid turned smooth and supple.

At $16 a bottle, Rufus Corvus was one of the most expensive and disappointing beers I have had in quite some time. Both the taste and aroma were rather thin and one-dimensional. I usually appreciate the complexities that barrel aging adds to most beers, but in this particular example the wine barrels lent an off-putting, astringent quality.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I loved this fresh. Let's see what 17 months in the cellar did to it. 12 oz. bottle into a champagne flute.

A - This is a deep ruby, almost brown. It looks like a quad. Definitely more Flanders brown than red. It's almost opaque until the bottom of the glass. Head almost looks like a stout. It's nearly mocha brown with some decent bubblage.

N - Sour. Excitingly sour. I get lots of tart fruit, like cherries and raspberries, maybe pomegranate or fig. Upping this from a 4 to a 5.

T - Ooooo yes. There's a deepness to this beer that is difficult to explain. It's not too sour, but the sourness exists from deep inside the beer and all the way to its fingertips. I still get those tart fruits, but they're more subtle. The barrel gives this such a strong foundation, which I find essential to a great sour.

M - Such an interesting mouthfeel for a sour. Usually it's just tingly on the tongue and that's about it, but this one is thick and sticky, and it cushions my tongue everywhere. Not quite sure how Avery pulled it off.

O - An amazing sour, almost like a darker Beatification, and that is high praise indeed. I hope they make this again.

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Photo of trippytbta
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Bottle poured into snifter

A: Pours deep brown with a reddish hue. Small light tan head.

S: Smells pretty sour and funky. Mayble a slight like wine

T: Great complex taste. Acidic, First comes the funk, then you start getting massive cabernet sauvignon, you get the tannins. Then a slight mix of the other wines. Aftertaste has some of the fruity and barrel tastes.

M: Very crisp and carbonated. This is a pretty dry brew.

Overall: Amazing beer, great layers of flavor and great texture

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Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%

From 09/07/14 notes. Bought a $12 bottle of this at The Jeffrey for ~$14-15 in NYC. Poured into a tulip.
Bottled 04/07/14.

Pours a deep brown color with a reddish tint, one inch of fluffy off white head moderate carbonation evident. Sour cherries, tart dark fruits, white wine, oak, light funk, sour red wine, earthy notes, vanilla, and light spice. Taste has some vinegar and more cherries to it; very sour and nice. Medium body and moderate carbonation, some acidity.

Overall I thought this was a really great sour; I liked it a whoel lot. Lots of sour dark fruits, and a lot of the wine barrels come through. Well worth checking out, wouldl ike to have it again.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

A: deep brown with ruby highlights - looked clear but the ale was too dark to tell for sure; got about a finger or two of tan head that slimmed to a wispy cap

S: smells like wine, with fruity acidic aromas and woody notes

T: lots of tart fruits and berries, oak wood and wines of various sorts; herbal component as well

M: sour astringence up front, light body, tingly on the tongue; drying finish

O: a real nice sour, brings out all the barrels and yeasts to make it really complex and interesting, but not being a big fan of the sours, the price factors in a bit - this was a $15 12 oz. bottle - so devotees may consider it a must-try, but for anyone else, I'd say, don't be afraid to abide by your tastes and your budget.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

From bottle, 04/2014:

Pours an amber brown, fairly clear for the color when looking at the edges. The head lasts at the edges of the glass and spotty on the center surface. Definite funky sourness in the nose, the sour being lemony, a swirl brings an extra tart Sprite smell to me. I also get sasparilla notes in the background.

The taste is definitely sour, and I think it hits quite well on the amount of sourness. It draws in the sides of my mouth, but it is not the only thing going on. The sour is somewhat balanced against the carbonation and I guess whatever was giving me the sasparilla scents to mellow the sour into a more mild sour fruit (granny smith apple? starfruit?).

Really enjoyed the level of sour in this, and the fact it was a bit balanced with other flavors that enhanced the overall taste of the beer versus mellowing it out too much.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark brown in color with amber hues. The head is pale white in color and rapidly dissipates. Spotty lace lays over the body.

S- Deep sour aromas, brown malt and earthiness. Cherry aroma or something of the orchard variety.

T- Sour cherries, malty flavors that border on bready, and a lingering nutty aftertaste. There's crisp apple as well.

M- sour, light, mostly smooth and slightly acidic.

This is damn tasty. The flavor sets it apart from the rest of the pack.

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Photo of Budinetz
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into goblet.

Pours a brackish brown color with minimal head that dissipates rapidly. There is no lacing present whatsoever. The brew smells of funky infection. Lacto is definitely present on the nose with very little malt profile detected. Has quite a bit of tartness to it with some dry, oaky notes on the finish particularly upon licking your lips. Definitely has a nice mouthfeel. Very slick on the tongue and does make the cheeks pucker from the sourness, but well balanced with oak for a crisp finish. Overall a pretty solid Wild Ale. Not the best I've EVER had, but worth picking up a few bottles for sure.


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4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours to a deep mahogany amber body. Head is a fuzzy quick fading inch and a half of quick fading foam. Only a skim around the edges of the glass remains after only about 2 minutes. Seems rather low carbonation so far.

Nose is that nice dusty tartness feel. Dried sour cherries and maybe even a hint of rhubarb pie that is done more on the dry side. The sourness in the smell really sticks to the walls of the oak nicely.

Flavor profile follows the same path as the nose relatively closely. Very tart and slightly vinegary. Solid and dry and long on the palate is the sourness of this beer. Tannins play very well on the finish and the mouthfeel, probably from the cabernet barrels. The only thing missing here for me is just a bit more carbonation to really help carry the flavors just a little more complexly. Super beer overall though.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle snagged at Mr. B’s on my trip to Denver. Apr. 7, 2014 bottle poured on July 25, 2014 as the first beer in a 3 beer BA sour ale tasting for myself to celebrate the last day of my 20s. Pours dark brownish red with very little light showing through and a small quickly fizzing off white head. Aroma is lightly sour, lots of chewy oak, vinous red wine, black cherries and currants. Flavor is lightly sour, big vinous notes, definite oud bruin influence, some black cherry, lingering oak, really nice. Medium bodied with nice crisp carbonation, juicy up front, and a lightly dry finish. This is excellent. It reminds me of Consecration, but is much lighter and easy to drink. My first sour from Avery and I am impressed.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazed burgundy leaning toward ruddy brownish-orange. Head is small, off-white, and thin. Drops to a faint wispy cap with a slightly larger collar. No lacing and minimal carbonation on the pour. Still, expected given the various barrel treatments.

Smell: Crazy tart wine. Big vinous notes push some serious dark fruit. Some berries and even darker elements of plum. Dark tart cherry. Tannic with a big push of oak and a bright, almost sparkling wine character. Incredibly fruity. Some pale maltiness adds a bit of a mild toasted element in the back and a crackery snap. Some nicely caramelized malt elements, but they're small. Some soft funk adds some earthy and musty elements, but it's mainly a big juicy, vinous, tart bomb. Strongly acidic on the nose. Red wine vinegar. Acetic in good measure, almost pushes too much. Some leather and very vague chocolate notes run through the back.

Taste: Red wine vinegar first and foremost. Almost hits a one-dimensional note on the initial sip. A bit of time to warm and a few more sips let loose some solid dark fruits. Cherry flesh and skin, a touch of plum, a ton of red wine grapes. Very fruity. A bit of sparkling white wine on the back with a nice push of oak through it all. Malts are incredibly light offering a mild sweetness and a nice clean backbone. Acetic most of all. Hints of lacto and pedio add a bit of dimension to the tart edge, but they lose out to the acetic nature. Big red wine push as it warms and it never really lets up. Deep notes of grape juice mingle with leather and oak.

Mouthfeel: Juicy with an astringent finish. Medium body with a moderate to light carbonation.

Overall: Better than your average wine.

Easily one of the most wine-forward "sours" out there. Assertive red wine, so if that's not your jam, send me your bottles.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled April 7, 2014. Poured in a snifter, the beer is a deep, dark, ruby-tinted brown coloring, with a thin, sparse, halo of white head. Aromas of tart apple and grape, dry and tart white wine characteristics, woody notes that are both spicy and earthy, and subtle chocolate and toffee notes in the backbone. Flavors are very tart and puckering, almost to the point of astringent. Wowzers! Cherry, grape, and apple, all with an undertone of spiced and slightly charred wood. This is a very layered and deep palate. Earthy tones in the tail end of the palate, accompanying a tart edge that keeps everything light. Effervescent feel at the end of a smooth, light body. The aftertaste is tangy and tart...with a subtle char and spicing. Very clean, crisp finish. This is heavy and refreshing, all at the same time. Great brew!

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Rufus Corvus from Avery Brewing Company
4.18 out of 5 based on 431 ratings.
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