Tectum Et Elix
Avery Brewing Company

Tectum Et ElixTectum Et Elix
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Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Wild Ale
4.23 | pDev: 8.27%
Feb 17, 2022
Apr 20, 2015
Tectum et Elix is one of the only wild/sour beers we’ve made that does not use Drie, our house Brett strain. Instead, we used multiple Brett & Sacch strains for primary fermentation, which created a much funkier beer that’s earthy, rustic, dirty, and delicious! Soured with our house pediococcus and aged for 9 months in fresh Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
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Rated: 4.34 by hopley from Massachusetts

Feb 17, 2022
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Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Bottle, nearly 6 years old. White head. A little lace. Clear copper amber color.

Grape skins, tannins, wet oak, and sweet tarts. Definitely wine like, but there is a bit of mouth puckering war head vibe going on. Not overwhelming, but it’s there. Very surprised this tasted this good for how old it is.
Jan 30, 2021
Rated: 3.96 by Sammy from Canada (ON)

Feb 09, 2020
Rated: 4.35 by cd34 from Illinois

Jun 27, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by Griffith from Connecticut

Apr 24, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by jgunther71 from Illinois

Oct 23, 2017
Rated: 4.3 by Mateo2699 from Texas

Jun 13, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by 22Blue from Kansas

Mar 08, 2017
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Reviewed by Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
BOTTLE: Brown glass. Gold foil covers the pry-off crown cap. 12 fl oz. Bottled Apr 16, 2015.

5.50% ABV. "Barrel-aged sour ale." "Ale aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels."

Served chilled into a stem-glass matching the label's recommended glassware and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Soft yet robust, with a nice creamy frothy even consistency. Off-white in colour. Holds up well, with a ~8 minute head retention. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Vibrant gold with loads of carbonation bubbles. Transparent and translucent. One of the more vibrant better coloured sour ales I've seen from an American brewery in recent memory. There's no haze or cloudiness, and it appears filtered and clean, lacking any visible yeast/lees. Has a gorgeous bubble show after each pour, setting off the vibrance of the golden colour.

Appears well-carbonated.

In short, it's an excellent appearance for a sour ale. Some visible yeast might liven it up further, but it's marvelous as-is.

AROMA: Soft pale malts/Belgian golden malts are at the heart of this beer, gently withstanding the subtle assaults of the fermenting agents...brettanomyces, a Belgian strain of saccharomyces cerevisiae, pediococcus bacteria, and lactobacillus bacteria. Contrary to many American sour ales, this doesn't seem like a straight lacto-bomb; the pediococcus is right up there with it, lending bacterial intricacy to this mellow sour ale. I don't get any overt funkiness from the brettanomyces; maybe lambicus was used instead of bruxellensis? I doubt it, but I'm not finding the usual biscuity funky brettanomyces aromatics you'd expect from bruxellensis.

Has a subtle but enticing floral hop character. Definitely a flower-evocative brew.

Subtle cabernet sauvignon red wine character is present, but like the bacteria it's downplayed and subtle, not bold and in your face. Mild tannins, pleasant oak, grape, vague fruit (maybe blackberry?). Slightly jammy. Call me crazy, but I think I find notes of pear and orchard apple in there too, but it's not at all a cidery aroma.

Acidity seems above average, but not as extreme as many sour ales; the understatement of the bacteria is echoed in the acidity.

Undoubtedly appealing, suggesting a subtle delicate sour ale with admirable restraint and balance. I'm eager to try it, but I imagine there are some sour ale drinkers who will want more aggression in terms of sourness, acidity, and wine barrel. This suggests a beer of maybe a 4/10 in terms of sourness intensity.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Soft yet more acidic than I anticipated. Unfortunately, it's littered with heavy tannins from the wine barrel, which makes the texture a bit dragging instead of clean, smooth, and wet. As a result, it's not the sparkling refreshing golden sour ale I hoped for, but it is nicely light-bodied and the carbonation isn't overdone. Champagne like prickly effervescence would be preferable.

Golden malts bend to the whims of the pediococcus and lactobacillus bacteria, which lend it a ~5/10 intensity in terms of sourness. Brettanomyces bruxellensis is in there trying to impart funkiness, but it never integrates too well into the build, adding muddy barnyard funkiness where clean bacteria would do better.

Hints of orchard apple, lemon, and apple cider clash with the muddled red wine grape must flavour, eclipsing it to the beer's detriment. Little to no oak is present aside from the tannins...this seems worse for having been barrel aged, and one can imagine a stainless steel variant actually tasting better. Avery should change their wine barrel provider or stick to (ideally virgin) white oak.

It's muddled and unfocused, but it isn't all that imbalanced. The tannins are unwelcome, but they don't cripple the build. I dig the bacterial complexity and the golden malt backbone, but it could do with more Belgian ale yeast flavour (esters, phenols), and the barrel and the brettanomyces could go. Words like "earthy, rustic, and dirty" describe the beer well - but that isn't what one actually wants in a golden sour ale.

There's also a scintilla of a gueuze-like cereal flavour that gives this a bit more raw sweetness than it needs.

OVERALL: The appearance and aroma promise a better beer than the taste and texture provide, and the result is an uneven beer that wrongly puts brettanomyces above bacteria, going for an earthy funky flavour when they should be going for a clean tart acidic flavour profile. There's no doubt it's competently executed, but the barrel (read: tannic) and brettanomyces notes just don't work with the rest of the build. I'm glad I got to try it, and there's a lot of good in it, but it isn't up to par with the best of Avery's barrel aged sour ales and I wouldn't buy a second bottle.

B- (3.43) / WORTHY
Feb 18, 2017
Rated: 4.11 by Gkruszewski from New York

Jan 22, 2017
Rated: 4 by Can_has_beer from Texas

Dec 10, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by shigg85 from Japan

Nov 20, 2016
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Rated by bnes09 from Illinois

4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Great acidity, funk, wood and wine character. Light, dry crisp and bubbly. Exceptional.
Nov 04, 2016
Rated: 4.22 by Keepnitrl from Washington

Oct 29, 2016
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Reviewed by Tone from Missouri

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of wood, must, earthiness, sweet malt, hint of skunk, bacterial funk, alcohol, and a hint of caramel malt. Fits the style of an American Wild Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a strong tartness. Tastes of wood, must, earthiness, sweet malt, hint of skunk, bacterial funk, alcohol, wine, hint of dark citrus, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, weak appearance, great aroma, body, and blend. A wonderful brew.
Sep 30, 2016
Rated: 3.84 by xdtfx from Illinois

Sep 28, 2016
Rated: 4 by Gotti311 from Wisconsin

Sep 21, 2016
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Reviewed by ReviewingUnderInfluence from Canada (AB)

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Enjoyed at Stone's Liberty Station and World Bistro. Amazing red wine flavours from the barrels and a big lemony tartness and a nice lingering sour finish.
Aug 09, 2016
Rated: 4 by jschott75 from Illinois

Jul 30, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by Rhyzy from Illinois

Jul 07, 2016
Tectum Et Elix from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 269 ratings