Insula Multos Collibus | Avery Brewing Company

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Insula Multos CollibusInsula Multos Collibus
Insula Multos CollibusInsula Multos Collibus

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
"A zymurgical ode to one of the classic - and one of our favorite - cocktails. Fancy a guess?"

We used our house Brett (Drie) for secondary fermentation and our house pediococcus and lactobacillus for souring to produce the cleanest sour beer we could to give the barrels center stage! The result was a dark red, strong sour beer that we aged in fresh Bourbon barrels for 9 months and fermented with cherries.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 334
Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a tulip to a deep brown with a slight reddish hue which is topped by a finger of dense light tan head which fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of nice sour cherries with a hint of vanilla, oak and caramel from the bourbon barrels. Really nice nose.
T: Taste is nice sourness and cherries up front with some really strong vanilla undertones. Caramel and oak come in as well along with some slight toasted malts. Decent cherry remains as well. On the swallow the beer has more vanilla and cherry with some more sourness and lingering dry oak.
M: This beer has a body that is on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is somewhat effervescent while the adicidt ensures that the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a delicious beer. It has some nice flavors and complexity along with being very well executed. The sourness isn't over the top which leads to this beer being a really nice drink. This is definitely worth trying if they decide to make it again.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 12oz bottle with a bottled on date of 4.16.15. 1308 cases produced

L - Cherry red, burnt orange and brown. Murky, with 1 finger of head and some pretty brown lacing left on top of the brew. Gorgeous beer

S - Cherries dominate, slightly tart, subtle bourbon sweetness

T - Dried fruit and cherries, tart, and bourbon. Delicious

F - Full body and medium carbonation. Oily slick.

O - Well done - awesome brew.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: Bottled April 16, 2015. 12 fl oz format. Gold foil covers the pry-off crown cap. Label is classic Avery, depicting a barrel for obvious reasons.

"Ale aged in bourbon barrels with cherries added." "Barrel aged sour ale." "A zymurgical ode to one of the classic - and one of our favorite - cocktails." 9.7% ABV.

Served chilled into an Avery snifter and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Fizzy, receding fully within 1 minute flat. Off-white with no robust creaminess or thickness to its consistency. Not thin or weak, but definitely wanting in terms of froth. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Pale red. Murky but not hazy or cloudy. Nontransparent. Translucent. I see no yeast/lees within. Not a clean looking brew, but it's appropriately coloured for a cherry sour.

Appears aptly carbonated.

AROMA: Lovely bacterial presence, hitting not only lactobacillus but also pediococcus. Not as tart as I imagined a cherry sour/kriek would be, but the cherry is definitely there, and seems genuine rather than medicinally artificial. Vanilla (vanillin) from the bourbon barrel plays well with the cherry, and there's a faint undertone of white oak but no bourbony heat. Brettanomyces inject some mild funkiness to this sour ale, but the focus stays rightly on the bacteria. I imagine all the brettanomyces used were bruxellensis; I can't see lambicus hurting. Some acetic cherry pie notes are present, nodding towards Flanders Reds without committing fully.

Malt backbone is tough to pin down, but I imagine it's all Belgian with 2-row, pale, and maybe a bit of amber.

A damn appealing aroma of moderate strength, suggesting a tasty but balanced sour ale with a ~5-6/10 intensity of sourness.

To style, there are no overt hoppy notes. Not big on either esters or phenols. It somehow manages to disguise its 9.70% ABV - which is monstrously high for a kriek.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Aptly medium-bodied, with appropriately moderate thickness and heft on the palate. Prickly carbonation gives it a champagne-like feel. Slightly dry, which helps coax out the oak and cherry flavours. Smooth and approachable, with no booziness at all but some welcome warmth.

Bacteria is the star of the show in this build, with pediococcus and lactobacillus providing loads of intangible intricacy in addition to the funkiness from the mild brettanomyces (bruxellensis) presence and the added nuances of the microflora. Aging in (used) oak was the right move; this is a far more lively brew than I imagine it could have been if aged in stainless steel, and its white oak undertone unites the beer, lending natural cohesion.

I do get some bourbon warmth on the finish, but other than that it drinks more like an oak aged ale than a bourbon barrel beer, with the notes of oak and subtle barrel vanillin obvious but no overt bourbon flavours like toasted coconut emerging.

The cherry presence is a bit muddy; there's no tart acidity to the cherry presence and it's not bursting with the flavour; adding cherries earlier in the fermentation process might help them feel better integrated, and more cherries with more tartness would be a good call. What does work well is the cherry pie flavour of the beer, which as noted above does nod towards Flanders Reds. I guess it tastes more like dry cherry skin than actual ripe cherries.

Sourness is maybe a 5-6/10 in terms of intensity. Hardly puckering. More of a smacky acidity and twang would help the bacteria present their sour flavours better.

It's a bit leathery in feel, which is increasingly bothersome the more I drink it, lessening its drinkability especially when combined with that parching dryness.

OVERALL: The balance isn't quite dialed in, the bourbon barrel isn't all that present, the cherry flavour is mediocre, and the mouthfeel drags a bit. But there's some nice bacterial flavour here, and it's a far more competent sour than many breweries are capable of making. I hoped for great things given how much I usually adore Avery's sours, and while this isn't a bad execution of the premise by any means, it's definitely a disappointing one given the brewery behind it. Drinkable for its (unnecessary) high ABV, but not a beer I'd buy again - especially not at this price.

Low B- (3.26) / WORTHY

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Photo of TheHonestDrinker
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of things going on. Confusing. Kind of like when your wife asks you to participate in group sex with another couple......there's so much stimulation on the palette.....and the next thing you know there's a man part in your poop chute. Not cool.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby with a loud, large, fizzy off-white head that settles to blanket and can be revived throughout.

Smell is spiced bourbon and charred oak with cherry gummies and a little red grape.

Taste is pretty tart but nice with round cherry and a slight acidic sting, finishing with red grape and a little olive brine. It gets much more sour, nearing acetic, as it warms. I'm happy you can barely tell this has bourbon barrel on it, as I'm not a fan of the old fashioned.

Pretty dry in the end.

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Photo of bnes09
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really solid base beer. Like a light brown ale. Solid acidity. Mild cherry flavor. Lots of oak and just enough funk. Medium, sturdy body. High carbonation and finishes mostly dry. Very good.

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Photo of Nates505craft
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

April 2015 bottle

This was amazing! Pours a brownish red color. Smell is amazing and I don't usually like the smell of sours, has tart cherries and a hint of vanilla. Taste Is Cherry with just the right amount of sour to balance with the rest of the beer. I notice the bourbon if I take quick sips but not as much when I swirl it around my mouth which leads to more of the base beer and cherry flavors. Has a very nice level of carbonation lending to a very nice mouth feel. Overall this is one of the best sours that I have had from Avery.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split between a pair of Georgetown samplers. Bottled April 16, 2015.

Pours a hazy red with tiny to no head and a small amount of extremely fine carbonation. Smell is fruit, oak, and more fruit. Moderately tart aroma.

Taste is tart, alcohol, strong fruit (cherries and...something pearlike?), plum skin bitterness.Surprisingly strong bitter aftertaste. I'm finding this surprisingly appealing.

Mouthfeel is thick and gritty. Overall, I like this beer, and I don't think I can clearly describe why.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found a bottle of this at a grocery store in Seattle when my wife and I visited there about a month ago now. Bottled on 4/16/15. Poured into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a slightly cloudy/hazy medium brown/copper color with a somewhat tan, off-white head that's about 1/4 of an inch thick when first poured along with many streams of little bubbles continuously and fairly rapidly rising to the beer's surface. Has pretty solid lacing. Aromas of cherries, oak, and bourbon are all certainly present. Has a nice cherry sour, just slightly vinegary and salty, funky and musty flavor that gives way to some cherry sweetness, hints of bourbon and oak that is all rounded out with just a touch of vanilla. Very nicely balanced flavor profile here. Has a very crisp and prickly, medium bodied with heavy carbonation. Has a clean finish with a dry aftertaste. The astringent sour cherry taste really likes to linger on the palate. This is one beer that is so good you wish your glass of was never ending. I'm very impressed with this one. Well worth a try for sure!


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Photo of zonker17
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reddish ale with no head. Cherry nose with a funky background. Cherries on taste have sour and sweet side but Iswear this beer is dry. Sour, funk, and wood the big tastes after cherry. Medium light mouthfeel and stingy carbonation.

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Photo of Braseltonage
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very unique sour experience. So much of the anticipated punchy, acidic bite, but with sweet Bourbon & cherry notes on the finish. Never come across such n interesting blend.

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Photo of metter98
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of cherries are present in the nose along with hints of oak and bourbon. The bourbon becomes a little stronger as the beer begins to warm up.
T: The taste starts off a little sour with flavors of sour cherries and has notes of bourbon, oak, and associated vanilla towards the back end.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bourbon imparts an ever so slight bit of warmth to the back end of the mouthfeel.
O: This is a very enjoyable wild ale that isn't overly sour and has a nice mixture of aromas and flavors from the cherries and bourbon barrel aging. It is also quite drinkable and does a good job at masking the alcohol from the taste (except for the bourbon, of course).

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of imonhiatus
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

another whopper of a price tag from avery. such a roll of the dice on these. some I would pay double the price tag for, but others...wouldn't pay 1/2 for a 6er. this one falls somewhere in the middle. paying maybe $8 for this would be semi reasonable but this one does NOT justify the tag.

tart sour cherry that at first seems sour for sour sake, as it opened and warmed a touch I found myself enjoying the tart cherry w bourbon glazed over. tickers gonna tick, but this one is skippable at the local price tag of just under $20 for the bottle.

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Photo of neurobot01
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 4/16/15 into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: reddish brown, thin, no head.

Smell: sour cherries, conf sugar, cedar, musty earth.

Taste: sour fruit, very muted bourbon, vanilla.

Feel: thicker than expected—solidly medium. Carbonation's a bit weird, almost cotton candy-esque.

Overall: came into this with high expectations, as I've had some bourbon barreled sours that were among my favorite all-time beers. This one is 95% sour, 5% bourbon. Not bad at all, but not amazing either.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.49/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Gold foil capped 12oz bottle from ThatCracker. Bottled 4/16/15. Served in a goblet.

Pours a hazy rose hued brown with one and a quarter finger pale head. That chunky froth shrinks to a thin ring, leaving only a few specks of lace.

Smells of cherry, oak, barrel funk and faint bourbon. There is something there that is indescribable off.

Funky cherries rule the flavor. Tart cherry, soft bourbon, funky wet oak, wet hay, caramel, grass, faint bread and a little subtle alcohol. It is pleasant enough and easy to drink but it's a good thing that cherries were added because there is not much else here otherwise.

Medium body with soft carbonation. Finishes with notes of cherries and funky oak.

I have nothing bad to say about Insula Multos Collibus but it doesn't really excell at anything so it just doesn't stand out or above for me. The cherries are the saving grace and are quite enjoyable, just not to the extent of several other barrel aged cherry sour ales I've tried. Still this amounts to another well crafted brew from Avery and I'm happy to have tried it.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flute glass from a 12 oz. glass.

Appearance: Very unique look, cloudy mahogany red. Yeast sediments on the body. My only knock is with a vigorous pour the head rose to maybe half a finger's length coming off an off white color with slight pink tint to it. Dropped to nothing after the first sip.

Smell: whiskey scent, with cherries and yeast. Sound a bit all over the place and it is. Complex scent which delivers.

Taste: Hard to judge this brew, must be for what mood you are in. Sour right off the bat, lemon which comes off slightly butterscotch sweet. Lemons (with the skin included) and a bready yeast. On top of that you have notes of whiskey. The rating might vary on the temperature so will leave that up to you.

Mouth: sticky and I mean think of the gum under your shoes sticky. Sour finish.

Overall: More of a dessert beer that will explode your palate. All over the place. Complex, sour and sweet. Can't tell you what to do with it except to take your time, let the temperature settle and always drink from a glass. Salud!

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Photo of Neorebel
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another attractive looking barrel-aged series beer from Avery, the second I am tasting which was designed to mimic a cocktail - this time it's the old fashioned. The nose on this libation is outstanding - bursting with real cherries, sweet maltiness, and a hint of bourbon too. After a satisfying sip, the quintessential sour tartness you would expect in the finest examples of the style washes over the palate, with a bit of the oak barrel tannins working subtlety in the background. Again, the sour cherry aspect is so fresh and pronounced, yet the beer is amazingly balanced. I absolutely am in love with this one. More please!!

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Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent orange/ruby with a pinky of tan head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Sourness, raspberries, leather

T: Follows the nose, some cherry & dryness as well up front. Tartness. sourness, choke cherries & slight acidity as this warms; Finishes tart, sour & oaky

MF: Medium body, lively carbonation

Pretty good sour, its best days may still be ahead of it, but I only bought one. Drinks pretty easy for the style & complexity. Worth a try if you are into sours

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Photo of Pencible
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured a cloudy dark mahogany with quickly dissipating light tan head.
S: It smelled like sour cherry and funky oak, with some brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.
T: It tasted like sour cherry and funky oak, with some brown sugar and toasted coconut and vanilla and apple cider vinegar. It had a clean tart aftertaste.
M: It was thick with lots of carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was an excellent sour, with very complex and balanced scent and taste. The body was great, and the alcohol was well hidden. Still must be sipped. Could age, but doesn't really need it. I'm impressed by how well the sour cherry and sweet bourbon characters were blended. It really worked well. Recommended.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Never happy with the status quo, the "never-say-die" attitude that's found in Avery's barrel program takes on a sour cherry ale of epic proportions- one that employs a bourbon barrel slumber, imperial strength, some seriously wild microflora and a whole lot of patience. The result: a flanders red ale on crack.

As the hazy, rusty ruddish brown ale swirls in the glass, a dainty creme of froth calderns from below, greets the nose briefly then folds back into its own bracing acidity. But its piquant perfume latches onto the olfactories with its distinctive sour cherry, lemon, lime, saddle leather, horse hair, weathered oak and vinous spice. Its first and supple sip explodes on the tongue like pop rocks candy; bursting with hard candy and robust fruit, if only briefly.

But when the sweetness proves fast-fleeting and the malty texture dissolves on the palate, the ale turns decidedly cabernet-like with robust black cherry, plum, blackberry and currant; but also with the puckering tang of crabapple, dried lime, lemon and savory balsamic reduction. And as the palate-stripping sourness hedges on unbearable intensity, the taste of charred wood, almond, saltine and mineral rusticity to round out the piercing acidity.

Dry, crisp and highly acidic, the beer finishes with the texture of the driest red wine- refreshing the palate with utter ease. As the spice of alcohol wears on, it does so with a peppery and pleasant woodsy tannic bite. After tones of cherry and balsamic extend in brief afterglow.

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Photo of fredmugs
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date 4/16/2015. This is one of the better balanced sours I've had. Normally I prefer something with a little more pucker factor which this lacks but the integration of barrel aging and cherries is a great example of synergy that I usually don't see with fruited sours.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is exceptionally tart and puckering with a cherry centric tone. Balsamic vinegar, bourbonesque cream and some alcohol this has a spritzy champagne feel.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4/16/15 bottling

Hazy dark amber with a rusty hue.

The nose is a little musty. Sweet and sour cherries are backed by lemon and apple cider vinegar.

The taste is also a little musty. The cherries have a medicinal edge to them but seem to add a nice richness to an otherwise vinegary and very oaky ale. The flavors are a bit round and indistinct but finish with a delightful lemony tartness. I am detecting acetic acid which I am not a huge fan of. The dry finish is mouth-puckeringly tannic with a slight solvent finish. I get a sense that the beer was aged too long in the barrel.

The carbonation is perfectly lively. Even with the overly intense tannic qualities, the mouthfeel is perhaps the best part of this beer.

Despite some major issues, I really enjoyed this beer. This is an expensive bottle that is not my favorite of the series but is certainly an interesting drink.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep murky brown in color with no light getting through this brew. There's just a fingernail of beige around the rim of the glass. I smell tart cherries with faint sweet bourbon and more tart Brettanomyces. The taste aggressively tart and reminds me of Rodenbach Grand Cru, but the finish softens due to the bourbon notes. I really enjoy how the tartness and moderate carbonation prick your tastebuds. If you like soured ales that are aggressively tart you should definitely seek this out.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Transluscent, murky burgundy
S: Fruit snacks, tart, cherry, very light bourbon, cocktail-esque
T: Medium sour, very tart cherry, light acidity, hint of funk, faint sweetness, oak tannin
M: Nice light-medium carbonation
O: Totally hidden alcohol

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Insula Multos Collibus from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 334 ratings