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

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

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Reviews: 736 | Ratings: 1,624
Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #7, bottled February 2014, and sampled in a fluted twelve-ounce tulip.

I expected something much darker–more akin to a deep mahogany-brown dubbel—based on the label art, but was pleasantly surprised by the comparatively lighter red-orange medium brown, which permits appreciation of the high turbidity and thick sediment present even in this relatively young Belgian-style brew.

The nose is crisp, sweet, clean, and whimsical, reflecting the contextual genesis of this ale and hinting at the playful buoyancy of the taste and feel. And, indeed, despite the deliberately heavy use of adjunct sugars (Belgian candy and turbinado), this collaboration is neither overly sweet nor dense nor thick-as-mud, like the territory into which many dubbels (or dubbel-styled ales) inadvertently or unnecessarily wade; instead it's complicated, dammit: light for its type, very balanced, possessed of manifold sweetnesses—as opposed to singular saccharine heft—and even a bit cleanly bitter in its finish, with heavy hints at its hopping and a fine malty cushion for all the straight-up sugars. There's a bit of stone-fruit, and a bit of both wood and grass (and even, perhaps, a note of green peppercorn) in the body of the ale, which—as mentioned—is very moderate for an ale that bills itself "strong" and "dark", but which is much more coy than either its label, side-patter, proof, or designation would suggest.

I should expect anything less from something Avery and Russian River got together on, and their result is just a delicious and difficult to pin down as it should be.

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Photo of BWED
4/5  rDev +2%

Bomber poured into a tulip

A- Mahogany. Ruby highlights. Thin and delicate tan head. Good lacing.

S- Dark fruits. Strong caramel. Booze. Belgian yeasty esters and spices.

T- Sweet caramel. Just a little fruity. Belgian yeast comes through in flavor. Very smooth blend of flavors.

M- Smooth and wet in feel. Slight tingle of carb on the tongue. Body is medium-full.

O- The smell of booze warns against quaffing, but the flavor makes you forget the warning. Strong, but doesn't taste like it. Well rounded.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a hazy reddish brown with a two-finger foamy white head. Light sticky lacing.

S - Light amount of Belgian yeast, banana, and dark fruits (raisins and plums).

T - Taste is of sweet malts, banana, pear, honey, clove with white pepper in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Very syrupy mouthfeel. Dry finish.

O - A very nice Belgian strong ale. Very easy drinking despite he ABV.

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Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Collaboration not litigation batch #7

Enjoyed this in a delirium tulip glass

Poured a soft off white 1 finger head which quickly dissipates and is deep mahogany in color

Upfront this beer has a sweet toffee/caramel malt flavor with some dark fruit and little hop presence. Finishes strong with med-high carbonation and extremely pleasant alcohol warmth.

Closest thing we can get to russian river on the east coast and it doesn't disappoint!

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Photo of patre_tim
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown amber with lots of whitish particles suspended within, no visible carbonation. 4 fingers of light beige creamy head. Great head retention and nice lacing.

S: Sweet fruity cherry candy and Belgian yeasts, caramel, toffee, raisins, dates, Walmart new plastic items scent, floral, very enticing and complex. Leather, new car scent.

T: Fruity, floral, complex, dates, brown sugar, leather, clean linen, smooth, umami, crème brûlée.

M: Thick body, medium carbonation. Chewy and weighty but smooth.

O: Very smooth, very well done brew, complex fruity, floral, very delicious. Unable to find a Russian River brew so far on the east coast, its nice to access it through this collaboration.

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Photo of Clinthopanonymous
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The package store i work at received about two cases of this stuff and we had it for about 2 weeks before i bought a bottle to try. I love the idea that they came together and made a new beer instead of fighting each other over the name. I also noticed that the foil over the neck of the bottle that has Avery's logo on it was turned inside out. Prolly a prank from Russian River. Anyways....

A: Pours a nice clear reddish amber into a orval goblet with a bit of white head that disappears quickly leaving a slight ring of lacing that lingers and a foam circle in the middle.

S: Smells of alcohol, spice, a bit of dark fruit like raisins or figs, belgian candi sugars and yeast funk, in that descending order. All of which is kind of muted.

T: The taste is stronger than the smell. a mix of alcohol and more fruit than the nose. not too spicy and only a little belgian candi sugar that builds only a little bit with every sip. definitely has a little alcohol burn to it too.

M: its perfect! At 8.9 percent it has a little weight but its not too heavy or sticky. i would say, "medium body".

O: I've only recently developed a taste for belgian styles. This is a beer that understands the concept of "less is more." Its has a good balance of sweetness and alcohol and spice and a tad bit of funk. It get easier to drink with every sip. I think its brilliant(I've been watching too much BBC)! Its not too sweet. Its not too spicey. I love it! If you love triples and quads then get it while the gettins good! You never can tell how american beer will stand the test of time

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Photo of lochef81
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This belgian style ale pours a hazy reddish brown hue with a foamy white head that leaves generous lacing. The nose is bready with notes of vanilla, banana, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth but thick and a little chewy. The flavor is a robust blend of biscuit belgian yeast, sweet malts, and a nice alcohol bite. A good beer but not the greatest belgian I've had.

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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 Bstrickler
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very good ale, similar to Pranqster. It's a great sipping brew to end a day with. Sweet flavor with a great nose and mouthfeel. The taste and appearance are typical to many Belgian styles. Would definitely buy in the future and recommend to fellow Belgian ale fans.

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Photo of richj1970
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 7 bottled February 2014 poured into Stone tasting glass.

A: Pours a dark murky honey brown with 2 finger foamy head that left some sticky lacing.

S: Honey, banana, apricot, Belgian yeast esters.

T: Sweet malts, honey, banana, apple, pear, mixed with clove and a hint of pepper. A little hit of hop bitterness in the background.

M: Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation. Fairly sweet bordering on syrupy sweet.

O: Very enjoyable Belgian strong ale. It's so easy drinking that the ABV can sneak up on you.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch 3, bottled February 2009, poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark auburn brown with ruby hues, fairly clear, creamy off white head has good retention that lasts long after the pour

S- lots of grainy malt, seems like it's started to turn a bit from age, musty and earthy Belgian yeast, dark cherry, some herbal notes as well

T- damp and musty yeast with some herbal notes, brown sugar and fig, lots of dark cherry on the finish with some medicinal flavors

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and smooth finish, this one seems to have mellowed out a good bit from cellering

O- overall this has aged pretty nicely with lots of cherry flavors coming through. I haven't had it fresh to compare but it's held up pretty nicely

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Pours a deep honey brown, cloudy, with an orange glow and a yellowish white head about a quarter inch thick with a fine consistency. Dissipates to a lacing.

Smells of pears, oak, grassy malts, citrus, banana, some slightly floral hops, and caramel malts. An interesting but surprisingly coherent mix.

Tastes of caramel and biscuit malt first, followed by the citrus and pear elements. Finishes with an oak richness and a faint hoppiness.

Medium to full body with lightly tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A very nice stronger brew which goes down easy and has no negative characteristics. My only knock would be that it's a little boring in the taste, but otherwise an above average specimen worth trying.

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

This poured a little thin in texture but had a savvy dark plum color. The head was moderately thick and collared with a dense foam.

The aromas were vinous with a grape, plum, balsamic and port like tone. A bit tangy in the nose I catch a whiff of spice.

Here's where I get a bit lost as a spicy peppercorn seems to dominate. Some of the balsamic vinegar sourness makes an appearance but for my palate the peppercorns seem to over run. With each sip I found another dark fruit but each time the peppercorns emerge.

The feel was a but sour but smooth and had a decent amount of drinkability.

I know this batch was good as others did not get the same taste profile as I did so I review this based on solely on my experience.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deeper copper color with a one finger head of just off white foam. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite sweet with lots of candied sugar and a good dose of caramel and toffee. Along with these smells are a lighter grassy aroma and a bit of hay. Along with these aromas is a light bit of a bready and biscuit smell mixed with some spice and banana rounding out the aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness with a light bit of a bready and biscuit flavor. Soon some light yeasty and bubblegum flavors along with a bit of banana come to the tongue. These flavors grow stronger in intensity as the taste moves on with the caramel and the toffee fading a bit. While the caramel and toffee fade, the beer remains rather sweeter and malty overall due to flavors of some raisin, plum, and apple coming to the tongue along with a bit of a candied sugar taste. With a bit of a grassy and funky taste and some spice of coriander and clove that comes to the tongue at the end of the taste, one is left with a rather sweet, but yet somehow crisp and smooth Belgian strong ale flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the average side as well. Both are rather nice for the mix of sweet, malt, and Belgian flavors of the brew, creating a very nice easy drinking Belgian strong ale.

Overall a rather sweet, but still easy drinking Belgian strong ale. A rather easy drinking brew overall.

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Photo of beergoot
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle is labeled as Batch #7 with a 8.9% ABV.

Dark honey body with a thick, foamy, sticky head. Sweet grains, apricots, and a little boozy smell. Esters and sweet syrup with a touch of peppery spice and some alcohol warmth; nice blend of hop bitterness mixing it up with the boozy tones. Medium-heavy body; semi-sweet finish.

This beer meets all the criteria for a Belgian strong ale: big malt flavors, spicy, boozy, and they all blend together and play well together. Bold and memorable.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Batch #7 bottled in Feb. 2014.

Appearance: Pours a deep and somewhat hazy brownish amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A yeasty, fruity, and fairly spicy Belgian style aroma with big hints of sweet dark fruits. Upfront Belgian yeast with hints of funk, clove, and peppers. Big fruit aroma with hints of banana, apple, pear, and grapes. Dark fruit hints of plum, raisin, fig, cherry, and prune. Sweet scent of Belgian candied sugar. Toasted malts with hints of caramel, biscuit, grains, straw, and toast. A little scent of booze comes through. Hops are very light. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a yeasty, fruity, spicy, and sweet Belgian style taste with big notes of dark fruit. Belgian yeast with spicy notes of clove, peppers, funk, and slight cinnamon. Big mix of fruit esters with notes of banana, apples, pear, grapes, and dark cherry. Other dark fruit notes of fig, plum, raisin, and prune. Sweet candied Belgian sugar. Bready toasted malt with notes of caramel, biscuit, grains, toast, and straw. Subdued hop presence. A very good Belgian taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, spicy, and somewhat drying on the finish. A little heat is felt.

Overall: A very good take on a Dark Belgian. Good mix of fruit esters and spices. The two beers are combined very well and avoid becoming a overly sweet mess.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Batch #7

Nothing too unexpected here: Good muddy ruddy colour, kind of a hazy mahogany with a small foamy head that dissipates pretty quick, but laces up like it wants to ball out.

Fruity belgian nose, just what I was looking for. Candy sugars, green apple, pear, clove... linen? Standard belgian themes.

Tongue brings out more of the same, but less pronounced. Belgian fruits and spices primarily. While the news evoked more of the lighter fruits; the pears, the apples, etc, the taste is a little darker. More of the clove and banana and some prune and the like (I know, banana is not so much a dark fruit. But it's more here than there, and the rest is more this than that. Keep up!)
A decent little bitter/tart on the finish, but not much in that direction. A touch of yeast and some bready malts, too, but primarily the fruity spicy esters. Alcohol is not apparent.
Overall it hits the spot. It's a solid belgian from two breweries that are deservedly well regarded. Not out of this world, but steady, and sometimes that's just fine.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small draft pour. Thin white head on a orange/amber body.

The nose is esters. Apple, pear, banana, clove. And alcohol.

Noticeable alcohol with fruity esters of apple abounding and banana with some spicy cloves and pepper.

A lighter medium body with some nice carbonation. Finishes dry.

Nice bouquet of fruitiness but overall detracting alcohol.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Got this at Whole Foods in DC. Batch 7, bottled February 2014.

A - Pours a typical rusty red deep copper, nearly amber colour. Bright at first with suspected cloudiness later. Two finger off white head on top with good carbonation. Bottom of the bottle adds only a haze. Good spotty lace and good half finger retention.

S - Very mild. Yeast, dark fruit, sugar, sweet spice. Sweet fruits and sugar dominate.

T - Yeast, dark fruit, sugar. Brown sugar resemblance. Very, very mild. Some heat develops later with spice and some more developed maltiness.

M - Quite smooth, sweet finish, Good carbonation that tingles, very full body.

O/D - While seemingly a bit tame, this packs a big punch, the body is spot on, and the flavour is decent. It lacks a whole bunch of flavours that typical BSDAs typically require though, and falls short in so many ways. Maybe it's the youth of the beer, but this just doesn't cut it for the style, and falls even shorter for a collab between these two breweries who are clearly game changers in the craft beer scene. An expensive letdown. While it wasn't a bad beer, you'd expect much more from this stuff.

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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 BittEER
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Delicious beer from two great breweries. I've had both Salvations hat are blended to create this beer and believe they may be better as individuals. The distinct characteristics of each beer is dulled. Nevertheless a nice Belgian ale that hits the spot.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured effervescent amber with copper notes. Nice and bright. Thick and persistent off-white head laces on side of glass and leaves nice partial rings.

Very estery aroma with hints of pear, banana, and clove. Caramel background and a warm phenolic character.

Caramel malt, a bit of candy sugar and banana with clove and resiny hops. Flavor is full and nuanced. There are boozy notes on the tongue, but pleasant and well balanced.

Moderate body and carbonation. Warm.

Overall this is a pretty tasty beer with interesting complexity.

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Photo of rawfish
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #6

Pours mahogany, semi opaque with quite a bit of yeasty chunks from being stored upright. Head height reaches two fingers with decent enough retention. Thick smattering of lacing on the glass.

Sweet malt opens with Belgian candied sugars, toffee and light molasses, very sweet. Just fruit juice, heavy clove, apple cider, ripe plum and banana chips. Lacks any hop aroma or alcohol bite.

Candy spun sugar and caramel malt sweetness really has some depth and evolves to a rum and molasses soaked raisin-banana bread, terribly sweet and malty. Pleasant up front but the flavor deteriorates on the palate. Hop balance is destroyed by aging, what's left is vegetative greens that further exacerbate the vinous fruit, wet paper bag and alcohol. Clove and yeast characteristics are not nearly as sharp in the flavor as in the nose.

Moderate body with adequate carbonation. Alcohol is manageable as it should be with the amount of sweetness from the malt. Lacks drying making the sticky malt and dark fruit overstay their welcome.

Two awesome breweries join forces to fight the evil of litigation resulting in a beer that is...just not for me. It has been a while since I've had a beer this sweet and the Belgian yeast further pushes the dark fruit envelope to Scars on my palate which told me to run away and never return. A must try just for the sake of craft brewing camaraderie. I really should get the next batch and try it fresh.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is so close to perfect, I rounded it up. Great head retention and brilliant cream colored foamy head. Nice lacing and nice rings are left behind. Medium legs with nice tearing.

Tons of cloves, red apple, banana. Smooth, creamy, milky, strong pungent.

Flavors are just a bit more harsh than the aroma. Strong, robust, tons of spicy clove, banana, kinda strange. Nice heat burn and missing a bit of fluidity. Even with the uneven flavors the overall feel is pretty nice and blended. Carbonation is smooth and even, a bit high, but fits. Sweetness is also just a touch high, I'd like a bit more dryness...

A great beer, but damn is the flavor different from the nose. It's definitely recommended @ $9/22oz.

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Photo of ajmitch4
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage bottle poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. 8.91% abv. Bottled Feb 2010. Pours a crystal clear light brown/dark golden. Head dissipates a bit when done pouring.

Smell is dark fruits, alcohol.

Taste is great, fine carbonation up front yielding to the spices, dark fruit and the alcohol hits at the end. More complex flavors but I can't seem to dissect them now. Big fan.

Fantastic carbonation makes this medium-heavy (more on the medium) an easy, dangerous beer to drink.

Waited a while to try this as I am a huge fan of both breweries. Have not always been a big fan of Belgian dark beers, but this is a great one to share with a few to sip and enjoy.

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Collaboration Not Litigation Ale from Avery Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,624 ratings.
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