Avery / Russian River - Collaboration Not Litigation Ale
Avery Brewing Company

Avery / Russian River - Collaboration Not Litigation AleAvery / Russian River - Collaboration Not Litigation Ale
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #74
Ranked #9,931
3.93 | pDev: 10.18%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Avery / Russian River - Collaboration Not Litigation AleAvery / Russian River - Collaboration Not Litigation Ale
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Reviews: 739 | Ratings: 1,643
Photo of slusk
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy brownish orange with an off white head. Head dissipates quickly, nice lacing.
S: Spicy caramel, graham cracker. wee bit of cinnamon apple, applesauce, Definitely a Belgian-like nose but subdued esters.

T: Earthy hops balanced by caramel malts. Graham cracker, toast, hint of apple cinnamon. Sweeter than expected but the hops help balance the beer. Semi-dry finish.

F: Medium body, medium carbonation. smooth.

O: I like this beer. It hides it's 8% alcohol well. the malt flavors balanced by the Belgian fruit esters and an earthy hop make for a very different and interesting beer. I would almost consider this a desert beer. I like it.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a remarkably light golden brown, with a about a pinky's worth of head. Smell was hops and candi, not a lot else going on there. Taste was a weird combination of candi and hops. It was very sweet, which did not do much for defining the traditional BSDA profile. Feel was pretty good, about medium body, medium carbonation. Definitely not a winner in my books. I have to say this was an odd take on a BSDA and the weird combo of hops and sugar was a little off-putting.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky deep ambee/pale brown producing 1.5 fingers of frothy, beige, somewhat lasting head that fades to a foamy island cap leaving a nice webby coating of lace. Aroma is dark bread, caramel, thin Belgian yeast esters of pear & apple, with subdued notes of clove, cocoa & an even more faint hint of coriander in a background of light alcohol. Taste is fronted heavy to brown bread, pie crust & apple/peach/white grape fruitiness developing & strengthening in the middle quickly followed by a sugary sweetness with spicy hints of pepper, clove & coriander all awash in a light alcohol finish which produces a very dry, malty, lightly fruity aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, chewy & slick, dry & peppery from a combination of carbonation & alcohol spice.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This ale is pretty big and unique. It was bottled January 2015, so if it is supposed to be, it's well aged. Batch 8 but just purchased last week.

It's brown and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is sweet and yeasty. The taste goes all over the brown ale range, but well mellowed and settled in. The sweetness and yeast blend nicely. It does not let you forget that you are drinking a nice Belgian.

I am going to see if I can find another of these all pre-aged at Save-on. Thanks for the great brew, Wally.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Batch 9 bottle dated 01/2016 served in a goblet at cellar Temps.

Cool bottle label and story. Beer poured out a low carbonation honey color with a very thin head that sank to nothing. Nose is floral with notes of honey, medicinal herbs and rosemary. Taste follows the nose well and adds a decent amount of dark fruits, raisins and figs, herbaciousness, honey and sweetness. Medium-low to low carbonation. Good beer from 2 world class Brewers. Very unique brew.

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Photo of ordybill
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. The appearance is a light dirty orange color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is a big caramel smell with spices. The taste is full of malt and caramel and the high ABV is apparent.

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Photo of Zythophile
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Date: January 2015
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Appearance is a moderately murky brown with not much head. Appearance is the thing I care least about.

Smell is woody sweet tea with some molasses. A little barley, but it's barely detectable.

The sweet tea is definitely there in the taste, but there's not much sweetness anywhere else. It's got maple wood instead of maple syrup. It has a little prune, too. Basically, this brew has flavors that are sometimes associated with being "smoky" without really being smoky itself.

It has a thick body with fine carbonation.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ruddy brownish color with a slightly tab head. Lots of lacing left behind. Smell is sweet candy, caramel, bananas, clove and Belgian yeast. The taste is very sweet with the aromas present in the taste. There is a nice almost cherry like flavor at the end with some mild bitterness. This is a really nice beer.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", this deserves to be there for its story alone. It is also a very good ale.
The story is Russian River and Avery were using the same name, although the Russian rendition was dark. So instead of suing one another over intellectual property, they came up with the best solution: to blend their two beers.

The result Looks an interesting amber. Smells of dark fruit and caramel (probably mostly from RR.) Tastes are a bit more hop-forward than I expected (probably Avery's doing.) But it's all well-integrated. What a lesson in life: 1 + 1 = 3.
I'd like to have this again. I hope they keep their collaboration going.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a bottle of batch #9. Poured out of the 22 oz. bomber bottle into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a clear, medium copper/amber color with a nice white head that's an inch thick when first poured. Settles eventually to a solid 1/3 of a n inch with good retention and excellent lacing. Aromas of some fruits such as figs and a hint of banana along with some cloves, and toffee that give way so slightly biscuit and toasted caramel malt sweetness. Doesn't smell boozy. Tastewise, this baby has as an excellent toffee and just slightly toasted, biscuit caramel malt sweetness that gives way to some Belgian candy sugars and fruity notes of fig and banana. This is all rounded out with some clove and just a touch of hop bitterness. A complex flavor profile with several aspects that seem to compliment one another quite nicely indeed. Has a crisp, slightly prickly, slightly chewy and syrupy, yet also smooth and somewhat creamy, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. A pretty good beer here overall. This beer is certainly by far a better result for everyone than what would have happened if Avery and Russian River had decided to sue each other over naming right instead! Here's to collaboration! :)


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Photo of Brolo75
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review of Batch #9. 22 ounce bottle poured into a goblet

A: Pours a dark amber/mahogany color with a vanilla colored head, good amount of carbonation streaming up the glass, some head retention, head was creamy, frothy, full with lots of tiny bubbles in it, good amount of lacing.

A: Spice, clove, bananas, toffee, Belgian yeast, picking up a hint of roasted toffee/caramel, alcohol is well hidden, smells pretty good.

T: Like the nose, spice, clove, bananas, subtle roasted toffee, aftertaste is of spice and cloves, semi-dry finish, mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

O: Not sure about other batches, but Batch #9 is very tasty, very smooth, mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and balanced, several layers of flavors, the alcohol is well hidden for 8.9%, this is a very good beer.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep copper to light brown in color. There is some cloudiness within the body. There's a fingernail of tan head covering the majority of the top. Moderate lacing. Aroma is of fruity yeasty esters. The flavor is an abundance of sweet malt and light Belgian Candy sugar. The body is heavily carbonated, syrupy and chewy with a warming presence from the alcohol.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Cloudy Amber color, with a nice white tan head and a little lacing

Smell: Cherry, stone fruits, toffee and chocolate

Taste: Malt, toffee, chocolate, Cherry, a little bit of bitterness

Feel: Creamy Smith with medium carbonation

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Photo of BiaSongThan
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 8 bottled 1/15
Light brown murky appearance typical to style with sticky tan head. Aroma of raisins, dried fruits, sweet bready malt. Taste follows nose heavy on dried fruit flavors with nice Belgian yeast as well. Alcohol very well hidden. Full bodied with very nice soft carb. Overall a nice example of the style, with the dried fruit flavors standing out most for me.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # 8, bottled January 2015. 8.9% Alc/Vol

Appearance - Poured into a snifter to reveal a hazy, ruddy brown brew with a sandstone colored half finger head that melts away rather quickly, leaving behind a mostly barren surface with a few sud islands across the top and a razor thin ring around the edge of the glass. A few spots here and there for lace.

Smell - Deep caramel with lesser notes of toffee and raisin. Faint astringency.

Taste - Follows the nose. Deep caramel flavor, with light touches of toffee and raisin. Mild clove spice. Hints of woodiness and herbal character. Finish is abrupt and mostly clean, with only faint sugary notes lingering. Fairly mellow overall.

Mouthfeel - Near full-bodied with low carbonation. A touch of stickiness is left on the lips, but otherwise it's a smooth, slick delivery.

Overall - Pretty good, but outside the caramel it seems to lack ideal depth and complexity of flavor. It's got a fair amount of decent age on it, about 9 months, so maybe it's better when fresh?

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber picked up and poured into pint glass. Really excited to try this! Batch 8.
A: pours a clear amber golden body, 1 finger off white foam head, some sticky stringy lacing, carbonation
S : malt, Belgian yeast, Belding candy sugar, brown sugar, clove
M: medium thick body, creamy residue on the tongue
T: malt, candy sugar, brown sugar, clove, hay malt build.
O: fantastic brew with great flavor!

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Photo of alexanderplatz
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #7

I'm not deeply knowledgable about Belgian strong dark ales or Belgian beers in general, but I've had (and love) Chimay Blue and some others. I found Collaboration Not Litigation Ale, despite being listed here among other Belgian strong dark ales, to be nothing whatsoever like Chimay Blue or a Trappistes Rochefort. That said, I found it a very refreshing beer with a tanginess that reminded me of a more refined and better balanced Blue Moon. (That is probably some sort of Beer Advocate blasphemy but that's how it tasted to me.) In short, I really liked it on its own merits but it's not the lower-cost alternative to high quality Belgian brews that I am hoping to find someday.

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Photo of JasW
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fans of the BSDAs or quads from Ommegang, Unibroue, and Boulevard -- the North American Holy Trinity of Belgian style ale providers -- will find this ale a treat. Stunningly, Avery gets the style just right -- the yeastiness, the lightly sweet malt, the caramel and clove, the subtle undertone bite, and the sublime mouthpuffery. What negative reviews there are here are clearly from those who do not appreciate the style. For those who do, it is a must-try. If there is a downside here, it's that Avery releases this in limited batches of 22 oz. bombers. A wider release in 4 packs would be more than welcome.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #8. Poured into a snifter from a bomber, nice Belgian smell. A translucent maple amber color. I think this beer could use some aging, otherwise, very good.

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Photo of Vixie
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is for batch #8

Pours a nice clear copper color with an inch or so of thick tan head.

Strong smell to this one. It is a bit sweet, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee seem to dominate. Can also smell some roasted malt and spice in it.

A bit sweet at first, caramel and brown sugar are prominent. I can also taste some Belgian candy sugar, and finishes with a peppery spice. There is also a bit of booziness to it.

Slightly thin on the feel, quite a lot of tingling from the carbonation.

While not the best of the style I have had, it's still a solid beer. It is a bit rough around the edges, would be interested to see what a bit of aging would do for it. For the price, this one is definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good beer. Complex flavors, with that Belgian style brew that I really like. This one was called batch #7. Amber color. No lacing but nice head on the pour.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip/snifter glass. The beer has over a year of age on it, batch 7, bottled in Feb. 2014.

Look- A pretty barrel-aged whiskey look; brownish amber. A thin off-white colored head maintains a fat film and leaves thick rings of lacing. It's clear with a bit of sediment and active carbonation.

Smell- Rich malts, dark fruits, a bit Belgian. Some sweets and alcohol.

Taste- Hearty malt with a heavy dose of dark fruit sweetness. Plum, cherry, red wine grapes.

Feel- Medium body, not heavy. The strong abv is present. Tingly carbonation. It finishes a bit sweet.

O- I aged it deliberately and it held up nicely, staying strong.

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Photo of MartzMimic
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a reddish brown with a healthy finger of off-white head. Some Belgian esters and spice in the nose, along with some dark fruit in the background. The taste is malty and somewhat sweet with prominent cloves. Medium mouth with a nice amount of carbonation. This is a pretty decent brew; not something I would drink every day, but something to look forward to annually.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay beer chalice.

A - 4.75 - Pours a brown, whiskey and cognac color. Forms about a half finger of slightly off white colored head. Low head potential and retention. Minimal whispy lacing.
S - 3.25 - Malt forward, almost like a standard bock beer with a bit of clove and allspice. Very very faint plum and black cherry.
T - 4.25 - Reminds me a lot of Ommegang's Three Philosophers. Lightly sweet malt, clove, allspice, nutmeg, that unmistakable Belgian yeast bubble gum flavor, black plum and cherry.
F - 4.75 - Very nice medium thick body with a creamy mouthfeel.
O - 4 - This is a quite good representation of the Belgian strong dark ale style and I recommend it to fans of the style.

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Photo of barczar
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Raisiny, spicy, slightly phenolic/plastic, clove, pepper in aroma.

Sweet, somewhat dull character throughout. Caramel and toasted malt at the backbone, with dates and muted raisin adding complexity, but the flavor just falls flat mid palate. The finish is dry and slightly bitter. Seems oxidized/cardboard. Banana, clove, and cinnamon notes surface late.

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Avery / Russian River - Collaboration Not Litigation Ale from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1643 ratings