Avery Anniversary Ale - Twelve (Saison Ale) | Avery Brewing Company

177 Reviews
Read the review
Avery Anniversary Ale - Twelve (Saison Ale)Avery Anniversary Ale - Twelve (Saison Ale)

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 05-06-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 195
Photo of BeerSox
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber into snifter. Bottled in 2005.

Cloudy peach hue with a thick white frothy head that lasts a while. It slowly settles to a thin cap. Spotty and stringy lacing.

The aroma is a mix of soft cake-like bread and some sweet fruit.

A mix of pear and plum make up the flavor, with a little bit of acidic hops come through toward the end. A cloying metallic taste comes halfway though. The flavors seem overly harsh on the tongue. The higher carbonation's fizz only lowers the drinkability. The finish is loaded with spices.

Maybe others aged better than this one, I recently bought it at the store and I have no idea how they handled it. It seems like the spices are the only characteristic that lasted. I struggled with this one.

 741 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Twelve - Saison Ale
Bottled in 2005
22 oz brown bottle w/silver foil top
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours a murky, cloudy and hazy deep orange/yellow combo. A fluffy and grainy head forms on top and provides a great deal of sticky lacings.

Interesting nose. Not what I was expecting. Whiffs of spices with cinnamon, herbal tea and ripe citrus notes.

Grainy-sweet with an earthy yeast quality. Major Big Red cinnamon gum blasts with a sour lemon punch. Zesty. A hint of spices, cloves and black pepper. There is an herbal flair with the chamomile presence being the most pronounced. Finishes a tad hot with the 7.6% ABV profile.

This beer is anything but focused. Probably not what comes to my mind when I think of a true Belgian saison, but an interesting take to say the least. Enjoyable.

 819 characters

Photo of Boto
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber: This one pours a hazy, golden straw color. There was only a very small head on mine, which dropped off quickly. No lacing. the aroma is good. It contains notes of corriander, lemon, possibly some other spice. No too strong, however. The taste is good. A little peppery spice on the tongue to go with a bit of wheat and citrus. Can’t quite discern the other flavor, but it is subtle. It is probably the chamomile. This is a nice offering.

 452 characters

Photo of beveritt
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel snifter. The label simply says ale brewed with spices.

Appearance: Pours with a 2 inch white and foamy head. This and almost oily in its consistency. This settles slowly in to a 1/4 inch layer of foam and leaves behind a lot of Belgian lacing. The beer itself is a nice apricot color, with a slight haziness.

Smell: Smells strongly of spices; orange peels, lemons with an underlying sweetness.

Taste: Spicy, almost overpowering. Both aspects of orange are here, the sweet flaovr and the bitterness associated with the rind. After the spiciness fades, there is an undertone of wheat tang. A very, very slight hop nitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average level of carbonation. Body is good.

Drinkability: The spices int hsi one are almost too much. They border on overpowering, not too sure that I would want another one of these.

 907 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.64/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this at the downtown Chicago Binny's; it wasn't until right before I drank this beer that the label said "Bottled in 2005." It tasted a bit old, but I think was representative of what this beer is. It is an unusual saison, which I did not particularly enjoy.

Its appearance was a bit flat, with a minimal amount of foam. The beer was hazy with a bright yellow color.

Aroma was festive: cinammon was prevalent, like a holiday fruitcake.

Taste was also very fruitcake-ish. It was only after I took some sips that I looked at the bottle and saw it was flavored with camomille (sic), which in hindsight seemed kind of obvious. Flavor was novel, but challenging.

Mouthfeel was full-bodied, yet sort of flat (as in not-carbonated). I didn't find this beer to be very drinkable.

 792 characters

Photo of benmiliron
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid 4.99 for a 22 oz. bottle. Beautiful straw gold with a nice white foamy head that stays. Smells of the spices and herbs listed on the bottle - chamomile and lavender, almost non-beer, but with enough hops and malt to maintain itself. Sweet taste, lavender is noticeable. Hops there as well, along with the belgian yeast. Understandably floral. Slight bubblegum. A bit winey in the feel, but this actually plays into this beer rather well. Drinkability is high provided you like this type of beer - not a session beer for me, but it will definitely motivate me to try other saisons.

 585 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden straw with a fluffy white head. Not bad,but a little on the light side. The smell is pungent and I swear this smells like cinnamon toast. The aroma is very "bisquity" with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is crisp and like the smell has a strong cinnamon and bakery flavor. Lemon,honey and pepper are also present. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing well. A good tasting beer,but it's different from other Saisons. Different,but not bad.

 476 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.49/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What an excellent beer. Thanks to mugghugger for the opportunity to try this beer. This may be the most unique Saison I have ever had. And from a guy who is not a huge fan of the style I admit this is damn good and certainly the top of my list in the style. It is very spiced and interesting.

Appearance: Pours a hazy lemon gold color with a big fluffy white head and lots of active fine carbonation.

Smell: This beer literally smells like a candle my wife has. The aroma is sweet and candied with chamomile and herbs as well as honey and lemon and a hint cinnamon or maybe even cardamom.

Taste: Sweet easy candy, and still nostalgic of a flavored candle, with chamomile and cloves, honey lemon and orange lead to a gentle peppery hop character. Truly terrific!

Mouthfeel: The flavor is extremely lively on the palate but the texture is remarkably smooth and the fine carbonation is ideal.

Drinkability: As tasty as this beer is, it may be to spiced to session but sharing one is perfect.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,038 characters

Photo of goochpunch
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a slightly hazed jewel-like brass with a head that quickly dissipates. Nose is intensely floral. Lots of lavender and chamomile with underlying aromas of wildflower and orange blossom honey. Some pale malt and grain character is also present, as well as a spicy yeastiness. Oddly, I pick up a little cinnamon in there. Slight alcohol tinge. Lots of the same floral characteristics in the flavor as well. Malt and grain try to shine through, but it's all flowers and citrus peel. Finishes dry and a little muddy overall. Wish there was more of a crispness to the hops. Alcohol seems a bit too weighty. Mouthfeel is a bit viscous from the abv, and has mild carbonation. Would've been nice for some more carbonation to cut through the alcohol heavyness. The alcohol keeps this from being too drinkable. Would've been nice to have seen a 6% version of this.

Aside from all the flowers and citrus peel thrown into this, this would be a ho-hum saison.

 958 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A rich golden color with two fingers of head that dissipated in about a minute. No lacing.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon, banana, grassy hops. When I first smelled this I thought of carpet shampoo, but since that first whiff, this characteristic had vanished . . . well it shows up now and then, but only for an instant I would swear someone just ran a carpet shampooer through my beer - then it is gone.

T - A slightly bready flavor with a very strong cinnamon presence backed thoroughly by nutmeg. Then there is a bit of very faint a pineapple / passion fruit character. For a little while I thought the after taste was of dish soap, but that thought stopped too. Maybe I am just in a clean mood or something. It is more of a lingering nutmeg with a touch passion fruit.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, refreshing and slick. Almost soapy in feel . . . just kidding.

D - This is one hell of an interesting beast. It is pretty drinkable, but I don't think I could have this too often . . . I guess that is why it is only brewed once ever! Very spicy, but not in the traditional sense, all pumpkin pie spices. It is worth finding if you still can.

 1,156 characters

Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 Bottled in 1995. The initial aroma was not strong or strange, but with the first sip the taste and aroma merged into a heady mix of spices layered one on another. Aromas of pepper, grains of paradise and chamomile are backed by a citrusy zest. Not as high a carbonation as I was expecting, but enough to bring up the aromas. I am definately going back for this again.

 371 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Duvel tulip. Though this beer's retired, I still see it at many places, so I feel like reviewing it's still cool I suppose. Bottled in 2005.

Appearance: A hazy yellow body covered by a thick, yet quickly dissipating white head, leaving some round small clumps of lacing on the glass. I didn't pour the yeast, but it's still quite hazy, which I like a lot.

Smell: This is a year old, but wow the ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon have come through a lot, and according to Avery these ingredients aren't even added. It almost, oddly enough, now smells like a pumpkin ale. Interesting to say the least. As it warms some sweet lemon peel comes through, along with some orange, slight camomile, mild Belgian yeast, and mild medicinal phenolic qualities. Sweet and aromatic stuff here.

Taste: Again, lots of spice, and though sweet it's also very balanced. Peppery yeast, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and heavy on the clove. I imagine a year's done quite a lot for the yeast. There's some nice Belgian yeast, and by the time the finish arrives it's long, sweet, and the flavorful citrus zest comes through to linger on the tongue with the spice. It's sweet, yes, and after a year I imagine that's why there's not a lot of hops going on, which is fine by me.

Mouthfeel: Both full-bodied and fully carbonated, which achieves quite a nice balance overall.

Drinkability: I wonder what this is like fresh, but Avery's done a lot of great things with their big beers, and I think this is one of them. Unfortunately, if this one's retired, I may need to find a few more bottles and keep this in the cellar, as I could see some really wild things happening in a few years.

 1,685 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a golden yet hazy straw/hay banana peel color with some lemony peel notes. Medium bubbling and lacing noticed.

Smell- The most herbal, earthy smnelling saison ever. Without a doubt. There is lots of chamomile in the nose mixed with the pale malts and dry hops.

Taste- Very floral. Lots of herbs and spices noticed any malts. Hints of candi sugar. A nice lavender and cinnamon mix.

Mouthfeel- A little dry, but the best word that describes my palate is new and unique.

 496 characters

Photo of HoustonTX
1.53/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

2005 Vintage.

Pours straw yellow in color, with an orangish hue. Creamy white head, with good retention. Carbonation is lacking a bit. Now let's move to the smell. Phew...what a strong aroma. "Gets back up, after falling on the floor". Pardon me, I wasn't expecting that. Beer smells toxic from the amount of spice in the nasals. Huge amounts of nutmeg. Along with black pepper, a good amount of lemon, small amount of orange peel, and some pineapple thrown into the mix. Overall smell is closely similar to a glazed fruit cake. Not a bad smell, but extremely overwhelming.

Now for the taste. A lot like the nose, with some small differences. It's much more subtle. Yet still, quite strong. Taste is strongly dominated by a spiced glazed donut flavor. Lots of lemon there as well. Utterly non-appealing. Tons of cinnamon with small undertones of various other spices, and musty florals. Spice dominates both the hops and malts, as they never make an appearance. Way too unbalanced. All you can taste is the spice. This is definitely a drain pour beer. My poor sink is going to smell for months.

A totally non-appealing beer in any sense. This was the worst craft beer I have ever had, and that's saying a lot. Please, stay away from this beer. Avery makes some great beers, this however is not one of them. If beers could be refunded, this one would definitely be going back.

 1,385 characters

Photo of walleye
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured a cloudy golden with a off white head that left some lacing. aroma orange and lemon zest, hops, lime as it warms a little, do get the lavender, and a whole bunch of other spices. flavor It was hard to just pick what came out first, but I got pineapple, sugar, lemonaide or maybe lemon with sugar on it, spicey, very nice easy drinking beer. going to get more of this

 390 characters

Photo of benito
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Avery tapped the last keg of this at their 13th anniversary party earlier today! Alongside Avery's Big Beers (Salvation, Reverend, Beast, Samael's, and so on) this was a lightweight. Even so, it's a fairly forceful beer--golden with a beautiful white head and a bouquet full of cinnamon and pepper. I had Twelve last summer shortly after it had been first released, and though I don't have any notes from that tasting, I don't remember the flavor or smell being as forceful as it is now.

Cinnamon is the dominant flavor with strong hints of clove and nutmeg backing it up. There's a nice soapy finish--a sure sign of a strong saison--but the spices outmatch it, and they just create a too-sweet feeling overall. Again, my memory is foggy, but I think I preferred Twelve a year ago than I do now.

For better or for worse, this one-off is about to become a thing of the past. And as Twelve goes into the breat tap room in the sky, I'll be left remembering it as a strong if imbalanced farmhouse ale.

 1,004 characters

Photo of cproioi
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seemed to be I picked up the last bottle of this beer that they had at one store in Cincinnati.

Poured a nice yellow body with a white head that dissipated rather quickle and left little to no lacing. The smell was of spices, heavily, very peppers. Almost had the aroma and taste of Cheyenne Peppers. This beer tasted nice and dry with the ABV very well hidden. The beer went down well with the spicey sausage pizza I was eating.

While this was my first Saison from what I was told Saisons are supposed to be very dry finish but this one had a little too much sugary build up with it, like most American versions of Belgian beers I have had. It wasn't bad I just think there has to be better versions out there.

 718 characters

Photo of bklynbeerbaron
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass

Appearance: Pale gold, like apple juice, only cloudy. Poured a nice, thin head, but it dissipated pretty quickly.

Smell: Whoa, peppery! Like an intensely spiced apple cider. Might be off-putting to some, but I loved it.

Taste and mouthfeel: The spice hits your tongue right away - I got cinnamon and black pepper - but it's not as intense as the smell. I thought it actually mellowed as the beer warmed. The fruit flavors that came through were apple and pear, and I thought the alcohol was pretty well hidden. Finishes reasonably dry. Mouthfeel was pretty good, but with some unusually heavy carbonation.

Drinkability: The hidden alcohol makes it pretty easy to drink, although the heavy carbonation would start to wear on me after a while. Plus, the bomber cost me $7.

Notes: A pretty good saison, but not as good as Ommegang's Hennepin.

 900 characters

Photo of EvilKeith
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clouded pale orange color. The head starts as a whipped cream-like off-white two fingers. Lacing starts strong, but fades.

My initial impression of the scent was apple pie, baked apples and cinnamon. A sweet mix of middle-eastern spices, earthy, musty, and citrus zest. After a while I figured out the scent, Apple Jacks breakfast cereal (without the milk).

Taste is a heavy mix of spices, a perfumy floral taste, minimal malt sweetness, and ethyl alcohol. Lingering spicy perfumed aftertaste.

Medium bodied. Moderately high carbonation. Quite a hodgepodge of competing flavors, a bit much...

 612 characters

Photo of denjen
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dennis: After drinking so many beers over the years, you find that the unique ones really stand out in your memory. The taste of this is so different it's crazy, I've never had a beer that tastes likes this ever...the lemon peel really shines through and takes control of a whole complex whirlwind of flavors, spices and soft alcohol tartness (7.6%). This is worth having for the simple fact that no other beer out there is like it.
Jen: Wow, what an unusual beer (in a good way). The flavors are plentiful and seem to roll from the tip of your tongue to the back of your throat. For anyone who has had chamomile tea, the smell is very distinct and comes across nicely at first whiff. The body of the beer has a nice level of carbonation to it with flavors of citrus fruits and sweet roasted malts. The ending leaves an interesting sweet and spicy taste. What can I say, I LOVE AVERY! My favorite brewery hands down!

 917 characters

Photo of doubleipa
2.86/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This has been in the cellar for one year. It hasn't changed a bit in that time. I still don't much care for it, as a Saison. Overpowering aroma of pepper, clove, nutmeg. Nice frothy, off-white head, that fully vanishes.Texture was watery and with a levely carbonation. I just can't get past the pepper. I love saisons, but this is the first one I haven't really liked. I think I'll leave the other 2 I have in the cellar for another year or two to see what happens.

 465 characters

Photo of cbl2
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2005. 22 oz. bottle.

Pours a clear, though ridiculously carbonated pale orange-brown adorned by 2 inches of tight white foam that seems to be constantly replaced.

A tart citrus/all spice aroma dominates this one, with an odd funkyness to it. Sweetens as it warms with aromas of lilacs.

Too carbonated for my taste, but the flavors are good for a saison. Mildly sweet with a nice breadyness to it, accompanied by a clove flavor that dominates all other flavors. Finishes slightly dry and bitter.

 515 characters

Photo of mynie
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice Saison pour, hazy orange sunshine with a large, feathery white head. The head is moderately retentive and fades to a small cap that leaves good lacing.

In the nose, light chamomile and citrus are overrun by some of the most intense spice I've ever come across. It's cloves and peppers, like you'd expect, only with more, stranger spice. Kind of like pepperoni--teragon, black pepper, celery salt, and big, huge ginger. Strange, and actually pretty nice.

What's nice the nose is merely okay in the mouth, however. The spice are kind of overwhelming--it's like I'm eating gingerbread sausage and even though that sounds disgusting, it's really not bad. It's just not what I'd call above average. There's no room for discernable complexity, only spices and a slightly bitter hint of citrus at the end.

Certainly not a poundin' beer, but certainly worth trying, if you're into something new.

 902 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a 22 oz. bottle of Avery Twelve, purchased from Wells Discount Liquors about three weeks ago. I drank it from a DuClaw Serum tumbler.

Appearance: The ale looks like a saison, crisp and clear with a yellow hue that screams BMC. As I got to the end of the bomber, there was a layer of yeast that cloudied the glass.

Smell: The ale has an intriguing aroma of cardamom and ginger, definitely unexpected for a saison.

Taste: Again, the same spices make their way into the flavor, providing a flavor that borders on cloyingly sweet (but never quite gets to that level). The ginger and cardamom are good spices (see Unibroue Edition 2004) and provide a unique taste.

Mouthfeel: The spices sit well, providing a bit of sweetness that never goes overboard (but comes close).

Drinkability: Moderate, the sweetness is very un-saison like, so I am still reeling a bit from this unusual brew.

 902 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Left less than a one finger head that receded to just surface skim, and left some spotty lacing. Body was hazy, golden yellow with columns of crazy bubbles.

Smell - floral, lavender and chamomile.

Taste - same as smell. Lavender and chamomile dominate this to the extent that it's hard to get a read on malts and hops.

Mouthfeel - thin, fluid, moderate to high carbonation.

Drinkability - taste is interesting, just barely good, goes down fairly well. I'd have this only once in a while, and only one in a session.

 555 characters

Avery Anniversary Ale - Twelve (Saison Ale) from Avery Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 195 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.