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Collaboration Not Litigation Ale | Avery Brewing Company

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Collaboration Not Litigation AleCollaboration Not Litigation Ale

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.72%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by FtownThrowDown on 01-23-2007

For Trade:
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Reviews: 731 | Ratings: 1,612
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well here's a winner!

Not unlike my usual self, I poured this beer without knowing what it was. I noted the huge frothy head of yellowish foam and the slightly hazy (I was careful with the pour of the long-standing bottle) amber/copper body. As I raised it to my nose however, my eyes must have popped open wide! Brettanomyces!? How could it be? I had to look at the label. I thought it was a collaboration with Left Hand (even the cross-cut saw at the bottom of the label seems to indicate that...) but then I noticed the bottle of Russian River on the right hand side. I took a sip... heaven!!! And that's why my review starts with the first words that popped into my head... "Well here's a winner"!

After I started writing this I had to read the label, and learned - as you no doubt already know - that it's a blend of Salvation from both breweries. Vinnie's of course stands out, but the rich malt base of Avery's makes it something completely different. I thought of a comparison to the sweetened versions of Flemish Red, but that passed quickly as they're completely different - as is this beer! Another American original? Perhaps.

The nose is not nearly as full and rich as the flavor, and expresses more of the clean, tart and metallic character of the Brett. Some grainy, dusty malt does come through, and there's a light note of clove, some dark fruit, and a mild vinous side.

The flavor is malty, mineralish, sweet (soft light caramel, brown sugar, sugar candy), spicy (lots of clove, some coriander), sweaty, metallic, tangy, fruity (red grape, plum/prune, cherry, fig), hoppy, earthy, straw-like, lightly cheesy, and bitter. The alcohol never shows, and it finishes dry and gently lingering with a mineralish blanket of dull malt and some lingering bitterness and soft clove. It's so complex though without really showing it, and the flavors vary in their placement throughout the glass like a game of musical chairs... which, I guess, actually adds even more to its complexity.

Really unique, and really enjoyable!!! However, I should note that this is one of those beers that you either love or hate. If you're on board for Orval and clovey-phenolic Belgians, then you'll probably go ape-shit for this one. If not, avoid it like the plague (to use another cliche). For me, I'm going to stock up on as much as I can afford right now. A new personal favorite :)

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a beautiful clear brown with a huge frothy head. Smell was very spicey, grassy and earthy tones with a hint of sweetness. The taste was classic belgian and very nicely done. Fruitness and spices predominate, no hint of alcohol, which at 9%abv is incredible. Really smooth and effortless in drinkability. This is a fantastic brew, way too easy to drink, honestly the easiest 9% I have ever had. This is a must get as it is remarkable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 release, poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and spicy but kind of metallic with flavors of dark fruit, brown sugar caramel and chocolate up front. A decent Belgian yeast breadiness follows quickly along with a mild hops presence to provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I was expecting a little bit more out of this beer but it's still a solid Belgian to drink for a while.

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Photo of chinchill
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle served in a Trois Pistoles snifter. Batch #5 bottled Jan. 2011.

A: modest size and short-lived, light tan head reduces to a lasting ring and leaves some spotty lacing. Clear (1st pour) amber/copper body. Slightly hazy

Jumped into this without knowing what style to expect, immediately finding a great imitation (no offense, Avery/RR) of a fine Belgian dark ale. Using the right glassware for this, then. Not to say this tastes just like some other beer, but it is an excellent example of a style mastered by some Belgians and few others.

The nose is nicely fruity (dates, prunes, raisins), sweet, and lightly spicy including a bit of white pepper. Nonetheless, it is not quite as complex, deep and rich as the flavor. Seems rather clean for this style. Sweet up front, it turns nicely tart and mildly bitter in the finish, then leaves a fruity (mainly dark fruits but also cherries) and lightly sweet aftertaste. The nearly 9% ABV is very well hidden! Great complexity, with numerous flavor components that seem to vary in composition or sequence from sip to sip.

O: a superb beer. I regret buying just the one bottle and will try to add more to my cellar. {success: and review tweaked on Aug. 2012)

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/31/2014. Pours fairly cloudy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of pear, apple, golden raisin, banana, clove, caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, pepper, herbal, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of pear, apple, golden raisin, banana, clove, caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, pepper, herbal, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of pear, apple, golden raisin, banana, clove, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #3

A: A dark orange/amber color with a thin layer of white foam.

S: Spice, yeast, orange peel, caramel, and candi sugar.

T: Very similar to the nose with spice, raisins, caramel, and toffee.

M: Medium body, coats the tongue.

D: I wasn't really sure what to expect from this, and must say it was a fairly pleasant experience.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured into a chalice, a ruddy red-orange color, murky, with a solid, off-white head and moderate carbonation. Blatant Belgian yeasts and esters in the aroma, candi sugar and dried fruits. Basically the same on the tongue, Belgian yeast, dried papaya, banana esters, raisins, cloves, with a subtle citrus character. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable overall.

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Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber/brown with 2 fingers of fluffy eggshell colored head. Above average lacing & a nice persistent ring chases the ale down the glass

S: Fruitty, leather notes, boozey, & horse blanket & all of this fades away & then comes back as this warms, weird

T: Fruiity with bitter choclate up front with some boozeyness lurking at the tip of the tounge. Leather & apricot follow as this warms. Tanins & oaky dryness show up too, along with jammyness, some black currant, cherries, &a hint of aged hops. Finishes with a faint hint of coccoa, breadyness, raisins, more oaky notes & warming/almost burning alcohol, just a wisp or 2 away from perfection

MF: Medium bodied, virtualy no carbonation felt, but still a ;ittle prickly from the alcohol burn

This is a sipper, but I think will only get more drinkable as it mellows. This this is one to lay down for a year or two, if you have the paitience!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #6 - Jan 2012

A: Pours a very lightly hazy reddish brown in color with very light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface and a moderate amount of small white visible yeast sediment. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy off-white head that reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring of large bubbles at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits (raisin and prune), spices, and yeast as I would expect for the style.

T: Upfront there is a malty presence that has the notes of brown sugar and caramel sweetness that also has some dark fruits (raisin and prune) present. The finish of this beer is all spices and yeast with a light amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some light dryness and alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and the beer is rather easy to drink for the style - the alcohol is pretty well hidden. I like the story behind this beer and both these brewer's earned respect from me for not litigating. The flavors and aromas are very true to the style.

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Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #2 which has an ABV of 8.72%. Bottled in February 2008.

Pours a hazy amber color. Good frothy malt on top that recedes in a rocky fashion. Not much lace considering the style.

Toasted nutty flavor with lots of port-like esters and a strong alcoholic warmth in the nose.

Potent alcohol warmth in the flavor--this seems to cover all of the tastes. There is some graininess and light hop in the background. The body is slick with the oily consistency of high alcohol.

I certainly couldn't drink this regularly. I wish it were a little more complicated.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 2/11/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing.

A: Pours a dark copper with some floaties in it. A nice chunky two finger head forms. Almost looks like a root beer float.

S: Some banana, cloves, yeast. There is also a nice dark fruit aroma and some caramel.

T: Very spicy, the bananas come back. Apples come through in the midpalate. Also get a nutty flavor.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall a pretty good beer, wouldn't expect anything else from these two breweries.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2, bottled in February 2008.

a - Pours an amber color with about 2 fingers of an off white head and moderate carbonation. Nice retention of an inch of foam.

s - Smells sweet. Lots of dark fruits and sweet malts. Also some yeast, but not much. No alcohol smell evident.

t - Lots of sweet malts and dark fruits. No alcohol, yeast, of spice tastes evident.

m - Very smooth and creamy. Low carbonation and medium to full body. No alcohol warmth at all, very enjoyable.

d - Overall I loved this one. I had several bottles of Batch #1 of this beer a few years ago and remember enjoying it, but had always drank them fresh. I think the 2 years on this bottle has definitely helped it. Very smooth and easy to drink for almost 9% ABV, and I did not get any hints of alochol in the smell or taste. A nice subdued dark fruits and malts smell and taste made this a great beer. Would love to try again.

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Photo of billab914
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3. 22oz bottle poured into my Allagash glass. It poured a murky brown color with a frothy tan head filling the top inch of the glass. Very nice head retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a rich malty flavor to it mixed with some Belgian yeast spice. Some sweeter, caramel and toffee flavors come out with a little bit of a dark fruit presence. pretty nice aroma overall for the style.

The taste shows more of the rich malts, caramel and toffee flavors to it right off the bat. The richness of it lasts right through the finish where it picks up more of the Belgian yeast spice along with a little bit of a dry, tartness.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with a nice creaminess to it. Carbonation is a little below average. Overall it was a pretty solid beer, it had some very nice malty flavors to it and the yeast spice wasn't overpowering which I liked. Very drinkable and tasty beer overall.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sadly I've never tried each of these two on their own, but I'ave had Avery Salvation. This brew was late years better than that brew, anyways appears a murky mahogany amer ruby hued slightly clouded cider like tone as you pour more sediment into the glass. Head forms thick brown nice and smooth velvet texture fine bubbles form nice lacing around the chalice after each sip. Aromatics bring heavy spices with apple cider and raisin complexities. Matched with lactic notes of wild yogurt and thick yeast infused bread notes rolling on. Flavor is refrehsingly tart and creamy with more signature yougurt and lactic notes, pepery and citrus with raisin and caramel sweetness. Solid fruity healhty balance from all aspects more mild spice flavor comes through as it warms, Mouthfeel is a full medium body with even carbonation that comes across the palate with a soft and smooth presence. Drinkability was excellent really effortless to share this with my BA buddy jcdiflorio awhile back, can't wait to try any Russian River brews. By the way thanks to SurlyDuff for this fine offering.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have no idea why I have taken so long to pick this beer up and try it. Good things come to those who wait??

Pours a dark brown that shows heavy ruby hues when held to light. Head is off white. Nose is perfectly balanced I feel. Excellent yeast and sugar tones. Seems to be a touch of citrus on there as well. Flavor is very interesting. I have had Salvation by RR before, and I can tell there is some of it there, but I can tell that something else is cutting into it. Seems like there is a very minute aspect of smokiness. Nice levels of yeasty funk that seem interrupted by some invasive force. Feel has a good carbonation to it and the liquid is good as well.

Overall this is a very interesting beer indeed. I personally feel like I can really tell that there are fighting sides going on here. Perhaps it is my past experience with Salvation by RR. I guess it's all conjecture really. Overall, I think this is a very interesting beer. Definitely one worth trying. I should have tried it a long time ago.

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Photo of stakem
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 5, thanks to Smoked for sharing.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a burnt copper to amber color with some orange about it. A white cap quickly fades leaving spotty lacework on the glass and a thin lacing over the top of the brew. A light swirl brings the cap back but it doesn't hang around long.

The smell of this brew is caramel malt, fruity and almost orange rind-like with a tangy alcohol inclusion. There is a faint note of plastic and hand sanitizer-like about it. A little fusel to solvent smelling with the alcohol as it gets warmer along with a floral note. Some stinky cheese is also evident when swirled.

The taste is toasty to burnt caramel flavoring with a bitter rindy character. Tangy alcohol and a fruity fusel touch of bold alcohol which is fitting for the nearly 10% listing on the bottle. The rindy character seems a bit oily and lingers on the tongue with a light spiced character that seems a bit like clove with a nutty aftertaste. Overall not bad.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is fairly decent drinking and a fair take on the style but not something I would seek out again. There is nothing wrong with it but it is pretty average across the board and well... forgettable.

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Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled in Jan. '07

Pours hazy copper with a thin, but lasting, creamy head. Some trailing laces slowly glides down the side of the glass.

The smell is of spiced fruits, clove, bread, some alcohol notes.

The taste is of spiced fruitcake. Candy sweetness, spices (esp. clove) and some tropical fruits mix together. Some drying hop bitterness in the finish balances out the sweetness nicely. Alcohol is noticeable, but warming and peppery, not overwhelming or sharp.

It has a creamy, luscious feel. (Just a bit more of a body would have made it perfect - but, I'm certainly not complaining.)

A nicely blended brew (s?). An interesting convept that worked out very well and a worthwhile endeavor!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky garnet hue, dark cherry, enormous bone white head, lace leaving...nice lookin'...

Lovely aroma, beautiful Belgian yeast, lightly fruity, berries and cherries and grapes, ...nice, again...mellow, clean, and cool.

Taste: gorgeous. Even-tempered, high on the fruit, not too sweet, not too hoppy, not too malty, just right. Full-bodied, and ...well-balanced, and...excellently executed, and...nicely done. The juicy fruit seeps out the corners of the mouth, vey vibrant, bouncy malt, middling hops, ...delicious.

Quite a nice brew, absolutely gorgeous, containing so many excellent attributes of better Belgian-style brews...lovely, lovely...yummy, yummy...

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber with a restrained off white head that laced the glass. Aroma is heavy on the caramel malt and spicy, floral hops, but there is some clove, banana, and phenols hiding in the background. Taste is excellent! Kind of like and IPA mixed with a Belgian strong ale. You get all the goodness of the caramel malt and hops with a restrained Belgian yeast feel to it. Great brew, wish I had more bottles.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch #7. Always been putting this one off and even though it's Belgian Dark always wanted to try it.

A very deep orange body, with darkest at mahogany brown, kind of looks like Pere Jaques but darker in my memory here. A creamy to fluffy light vanilla colored head, with speckled lacing. Makes about three fingers tall off the pour. Very fine carbonation all over, but very hard to see through this dark body. Pretty solid.

Nose is spicy with hints of clove, and hot dark spices. Kind of indistinct fruit, some sweet Belgian sucrose and good brown sugar. Pretty much textbook Belgian dark on the nose with a nice balance.

Palate matches with some simple flavors. Toasty cinnamon slightly, but not hot on the finish. Brown sugars and some candied fruit, possibly hinting at sweet cherry. Light bodied but in the palate but flavors manage to stick out nicely, it just barely hints at some creamy texture.

Overall it's not that bad, but I don't get excited about this style as much. It doesn't come off as a collaborated mess either like many collaborated beers I've had too.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical Avery bomber, silver foil top, bottled in Jan 2007. Pours murky, cloudy light brown/dark apricot, head is active and long lasting medium tan and this creation leaves nicely developed and sticky lacing in sheets and splotches. Nose here is fruity, raisins and some light smoke. Be sure to let this one warm up and get a chance to breath. Fruity, more smoke, raisins, warming alcohol well dove-tailed into the mix. Quite drinkable and balanced, abit differant from some of the other Avery offerings (which I love anyway for their boldness). Spicy, peppery, mild smoky hot sauce, drying finish.Drinking very well at this early date, seems it would only improve with some time. Go get some to enjoy now and in a year.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was very happy to snag this beer off the shelf.....saw it was a collaboration with Russian River and about pooped my pants. Being in the Midwest....we do not get Russian River product! The beer poured a dark amber with foamy head that didn't hang around long, but left some lace. The scent is typical of Belgian Quads. The taste was very evenly balanced and probably the best quad I have ever had. The mouthfeel was full in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a winner.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

08/16/07- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with a bottled on month on the lower part of the label (January of 2007). Poured into my Damnation tulip.

Appearance- Deep caramel brown colored pour with a 3/4 inch slight off white head. Leaves pretty nice lace patches and streaks.

Smell- Really nice deep roasted caramel nose with various dark fruits. Light prunes, but mostly figs and some raisins. Smells like it's going to be fairly sweet. Maybe even a bit of chocolate in the nose.

Taste- Soft tasting mix of plums, prunes, raisins and figs. A nice bit of hops awaits in the finish. About the sweetness expected out of the nose...some semi-rich roasted caramel. No metal taste at all which is always nice.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level, nice slight hop aftertaste.

Drinkability- About what I expected going in. A very tasty beer that I would definitely have again in a minute. Not sure how much aging would do to this one though. May drink my other fairly soon.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep, cloudy copper-amber color with a thin, quickly disappearing head. Heavy hops on the nose, with fruity sweet and some spice on further inhales. The beer has a bold bouqet of flavors that blend together extremely well. Sour backbone, with some spice notes to it, and a huge projection of bitter hops. The beer is forward, strong and full in mouth, but transitions to a surprisingly smooth and crisp finish. There is a lingering sour and spice balanced aftertaste. The beer is pretty impressive; very well blended and balanced, and the strong flavors do not limit the drinkability in any way. This is a good, strong (pun intended) beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel Tulip

A - Light brown colour; slightly cloudy with one finger of bubbly white head.

S - Sweet malts - caramel and brown sugar notes and not much of a hop nose at all.

T - Tastes of a malty Belgian ale. Sweet malts are prevalent in both up front and in the finish. There is a nice sweet caramel taste to the malts with subdued clove notes in the background as well as some spices. The finish has a mix of sweet caramel malts accompanies by a the subtle clove taste, spices and some sweet molasses.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated. Thick and chewy for an ale.

D - A very good beer. One of the better Belgian Style Ales that I have had.

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Collaboration Not Litigation Ale from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 731 ratings.
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