Brabant | Avery Brewing Company

very good
296 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.65%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 387
Photo of rawfish
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a Belgian Dark Strong or a Quad, fluffy beige head but opaque cola body and very little lacing or head retention to speak of.

This is getting interesting from the start, prunes, black currant, oak, white wine, cork and a mustiness that reminds me of guest blankets or a seldom used linen closet.

To my shock this has lost all acidity, the oxidation is evident leaving a newspaper-y finish with hints of vinegar and soy. I could leave it at that and say it is terrible but there is alot more going on here. I feel like the sourness being peeled back allows the drinker to delve the nuances of barrel aged sours can be without the acidic distraction. There's licorice, and a fruitiness that is reminiscent of cherry cola, oak is evident, gentle wine tannins and Brett presence that has embraced the musty attic and leather funkiness.

The body is a little syrupy and sticky and the complex nature of this beer makes it way harder to put down than the typical sour where the acidity is refreshing and on blast.

This one is on the way down but I am really glad to have had the opportunity. The first in the Avery Barrel Aged series is a doozy but it also displays their brewing prowess and how much they have dialed it in with some of the releases now. I cannot in good conscious rate this as a top tier beer other than for the novelty of what it is. That being said if you have the opportunity to come across a beer like this (or any beer for that matter), try it, fuss over it, appreciate it for what it is because this is liquid art.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.41/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brown beer, barely a head forms, extremely minimal. Didn't smell tart or sour, really reeked of alcohol.

Taste had acetic notes, vinegar, musty brown oud bruin kinda burton thing going on here, I immediately don't like it. A little wood and vinegar just won't go away. This was a bad beer, would not recommend.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

What better place to pop this than a random get-together in a buddy's basement? It pours a deep sienna topped by a finger of off-khaki foam. The nose comprises sharp red wine grapes, light French oak, a hint of vinegar, light tart cherry, and something beneath it all that seems like light pumpernickel. The taste brings in more of the same, with the tartness even sharper than expected, though not enough to induce wincing. The pumpernickel comes into its own in the finish, almost creating something of an after-dinner chocolate kind of effect. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a solid sour blast, one that brings the pain without overdoing it (though just barely).

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Photo of superspak
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/10/2009. Pours hazy very dark brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart cherry, sour apple, grape, clove, pepper, oak, leather, red wine, hay, funk, light vinegar, bread, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of the wild yeast notes with barrel character. Taste of sour cherry, sour apple, grape, clove, pepper, oak, red wine, leather, toast, light roasted malt, hay, funk, light vinegar, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy tartness after the finish; with lingering notes of light tart fruits, clove, pepper, oak, red wine, leather, funk, toast, hay, light vinegar, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Solid flavor balance and complexity of yeast ester flavors and barrel notes; some moderate astringency with light oxidation; and lightly cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium full bodied; with a crisp, lightly acidic, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is ok. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty solid wild ale. Some nice aromas with solid flavor complexity and balance; and fairly smooth to sip on. A moderately enjoyable offering; had no problem finishing it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've had this a number of times over the years, but never bothered to review it. Thanks to ChrisPro for busting out a bottle and enabling my ticker tendencies. Served in Närke snifter.

A - Off-white foam settles to a thin collar and a few wisps, leaving behind minimal lace. Dark brown body with minimal translucency to it.

S - Lots of vinous oak, light zinfandel notes, dirty and lightly medicinal brett strain that seems to be a favorite at Avery. Dusty and earthy, with light chocolate malt character. Interesting in that it's ostensibly a dark brett beer rather than dark sour.

T - Fruity, with tropical notes, along with cocoa, and nutty malts. Like a brett fermented brown ale, with a light vinous character in the periphery. Vaguely reminiscent of Surly Pentagram.

M - Dry, medium body, with well-hidden alcohol, as is usual with Avery. Lightly chewy texture, and a dry and crisp finish.

D - An interesting mix of fruit, chocolate, funk, and wine. This bottle was surprisingly palatable, but others I've had were drain pours, so your mileage may vary; either that or this beer has finally turned the corner into Decentville. Not one of my favorites from the series, but certainly better than infected Black Tot.

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Photo of rudzud
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received this in my first trade ever, with the beer manager at Russell's in Amherst, MA. Think I traded a ghoulship for this and a few more beers. Been holding on to this for a while. Thanks Chris!

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep dark brown, stout/porter looking hue with a half finger light tan head that faded to leave light side lacing and a good thin blanket. Very nice to look at.

S - Nice aromas. Still pick up the faint belgian notes hereof the base beer. Subtle funk, light malt, old dusty grape skins. Slight lightly sour dark fruits. Interesting.

T - Well, taste is definitely past its prime. Roast malts (lightly chocolate), old dark fruits (cherries), sweet subtle malts, old brett, wood from barrels, along with some minor alcohol heat. Meh. Should have drank this a while ago...

M - Mouthfeel is solid for a wild ale. Good carbonation. Slightly, slightly syrupy. Glad there was carbonation here as I'd feared it would be flat.

O - Overall, this probably was once a tasty wild. now though time has not done this well. There is a lingering aftertaste that clings to me as I type this. Like dusty chalk. Ugh. not too happy.

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Photo of kscaldef
2.4/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: A very dark brown. As dark as many stouts. Raises a moderate head on the pour but doesn't stick around for long.

S: Strong wine aromas. Musty cherry, a bit of prune. Light acetic notes.

T: Earthy. Mushy fruit, coffee grounds, overripe banana.

M: High carbonation. Medium-to-low body.

O: Seems like this is well over the hill (or wasn't good to start with). Disappointing as I'm usually quite fond of the Avery barrel-aged beers.

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

Bottled Feb 10, 2009. Thanks blatantdream!

Dark brown hue, tan head, beady lace.

Oaky wine barrel aroma meets soured yeast, barrel character shines through brightly in both the nose and taste. Can really taste the Zinfandel remnants as they soak through the oakyness. Only mildly sour; dark and tantalizing.

For batch #1 of Avery's barrel series, this is a big win. Glad I got to try this.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, Feb 2009. Waiting patiently for 3.5 years in my basement.

Appearance: Pours a very dark red-brown. Light tan head with good retention.

Smell: Sweet, sour, fruity, and funky. Oaky red wine, malty sweet dark fruit, grassy brett funk. Very interesting.

Taste: The tartness and vinous flavor are very prominent, but they don't completely hide the fact that this is a Belgian dark beer underneath. It tastes less funky than it smells, but its still funky. Oaky, leathery, and a little musty. The finish interestingly isnt super dry, but long, sweet, and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is lively, but not sharp. Again, it feels like its going to dry out, but stops short and stays a little sticky sweet and a little tannic.

Overall: This beer gets points both for being different, and for just being good. I put off drinking this for a long while because thought it sounded a little too weird, but its great. Wish I had another. Buy it if you see it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky dark reddish color with an off-white head. Smells like red-wine vinegar, oak, and cherry. A light funkiness to it, sort of musty, maybe a little cardboard, and a light lactic note. Taste is sort of muddled and muted. Light fruitiness, hints of wine, a bit of vinegar and leather, maybe some wood. Cardboard, musty oak, and some light barnyard. Not really a fan.

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Photo of billab914
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Allagash glass. It poured a dark brown, cola like color with a modest, tan and fizzy head to it. Nice head retention to it.

The aroma has a tart, sourness to it with notes of sour cherries, grapes and a touch of vinegar. Pretty nice sour and tart fruit profile to it, but it could have used a little more funk to it.

The sourness is a little sharp and acidic up front. The finish is where more of the tart, sour cherry and grape flavors come out. There is a hint of darker malts to it in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being high. Overall, it was a pretty good but not outstanding beer. It was a little sharp and acidic at times and could have used a little more funkiness give it some added complexity. Overall it had some good flavor and was pretty drinkable though.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.09/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big-time want for me. Landed two bottles of Avery Brabant. Bottle dated: February 10, 2009. Poured into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip glass.

Poured with a fat two-and-a-half fingered beige-colored head on a ruby-brown, but dark brown, body. Head fell pretty fast. One incomplete ring of lace. 3.5

Big red grape aroma with a wonderful sour potency with some acetic character. A pleasing oak character is upfront side-by-side with some Bretty funk and tickles of alcohol. Pretty wonderful. 4.5

First sip is a letdown. Stinging ethanol and very little pucker. Any fruits are decomposed by now. Astringent bitterness on the back of the tongue and in the throat on the swallow. Some black-charred wood effect. I can't tell, nor will I ever know, if this beer is past its prime or was never impressive to begin with. I'm assuming it's the former. This seems to be flattened in flavor. Not much complexity either, other than pulling out more bland flavors or aging flaws. The funk is still here and has evolved nicely, but there is not much complement. Truly, missing a fruit that I can tell was there, but is not really there anymore. 2.0

Not much carbonation left in the bottle. The body is just fine, but the sting of alcohol and residual tannins is uneasy. 3.0

I'm disappointed. I'm going to have to scour a few reviews for fresh examples when this beer was still being produced. No hurry in drinking the other one soon, I'll just let it continue to fall apart. Even with such great upside, a swing and a miss. 2.5

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Photo of claspada
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Feb 10, 2009 courtesy of mrand01.

Pours a very dark mahogany with some minimal red highlights along the edges of the glass. Small khaki bubbly head that recedes immediately leaving a small cap of khaki bubbles.

Aromas begin with rich wild black cherries, red grape skins and a subdued Bretty funkiness. As it warms I get a bit of roasted malt, wood but it is hard to get past the sour Brett dominant smell. Cocoa powder aromas emerge a little more as it continues to warm.

The tastes are pleasantly more complex however; it opens with dark malts with a restrained amount of sweetness. Fruit flavors of black currants and black cherry with a strong, tart taste of red wine all the while. The Brett is definitely evident, and asserts itself in between the other flavors. Robust, earthy wood barrel, moderate lactic sourness, a touch of astringent tannins and a fair amount of acidity. Dark roasty malts are there in the background (and I mean background) compared to the sour Brett flavors but they all work quite nice together.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. I really enjoy the lingering flavors of acidity, mixed with tartness and lightly roasted malts. Finish is dry and tart thanks to the wine barrel aging.

Overall, I have yet to meet a beer I didn't like that touched a red wine barrel, but this one definitely stands out and hits the mark more for me because of the darker malt backbone. Some do not like tart and dark malts, which I can understand, but I really dig those dark vinous notes mixed with the light cocoa. It's like sipping a nice Zinfandel and eating decadent dark chocolate all at once. My first of this Avery barrel series, but it won't be my last that's for sure.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark and opaque with a solid inch worth of tannish fluff

Smells of wet dog, cherry, vinegar, and oak

Lots of Brett up front, segues into a very mild vinegar and cherry middle. Finish is dry oak and some misplaced chocolate notes.
Not really sour at all.

Mouthfeel is slick and coating with an odd feeling carbonation.

Overall, it's kind of mish-mashed jigsaw of seemingly good pieces that just don't mesh so well together. The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles in a bottle.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown head with a small, tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is slightly tart, with some chocolate aromas and red wine vinegar. There is also some interesting peppery spice to it. Cherries as well. Taste is not nearly as sour as I was expecting. Not even close. Just lightly tart with some nice oak flavors. Lovely wild yeast flavors (brett) with red wine vinegar and tart cherries, Hints of chocolate and vanilla. Mouthfeel is bubbly and nicely carbonated. Not as puckering as was hoping for. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer was not what I was expecting (hoping for), but it's very drinkable and a good wild ale.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.36/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another sour fest beer. Brown beer, a little bit of beige head formed on it, about 1/16" in formation, hardly any retention. Aroma lacked a sour character to it. Smelled more like a typical belgian dark strong ale. Alcohol and dark fruit thing going on.

Taste, again, lacking a sour character, just was like a mix of the BDSA style and a brown or porter. Even the vinegar character isn't all that sour. Minor oak component discernable. Has a somewhat vinuous character, probably from the lack of carbonation, sour critters and oak.

Nothing like a wild ale, much like the domestication of the dog under human supervision, my disappointment in the avery barrel program continues unabated. Why people purchase, covet, trade for this beer, I have no idea.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass (thanks again Ryan).

Appearance: Dark brown, subtle tan head, no lacing.

Smell: red fruit, red wine vinegar, tart, bell pepper.

Taste: red fruit, red wine vinegar, red wine, peppery.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, tart.

Overall: A tasty wild ale. Very drinkable. well balanced.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aged for 2+ years at 50 degrees, controlled

A - Subtle head, cream in color. Very smooth head settles. Brew is deep ruby color. Great for style.

S - Very zinfandel. Smooth grape. Great wild farm smell.

T - Extremely smooth and mellow. I cannot wait to drink my last in a few months. Very rich and full. Very bread-y and delicious.

M - Perfect. No heat. Amazing carb. No bitterness.

O - I remeber first having this beer and debated drinking them all right away as I was unhappy with the flavor... Needless to say, I'm very glad I held on to a few bottles. Very smooth and delicious. Highly recommended.

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Photo of slentz
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mark for this bottle. Bottle to RR 'tion glass at about 55 degrees.

A: Easy pour down the center of the glass leads to a finger width of nice head that slowly dissipates to a thing ring. The head looks very creamy. This beer is very dark in color. When held to light barely any light passes through. Nice looking beer. 4.0

S: The nose on this beer is really nice. Nice sourness, slight vinegar, getting that cherry smell that comes with sour beers of this nature. Lots of funkiness the smell of the brett yeast is very strong. 4.5

T: The taste is unfortunately not in line with the nose. I was expecting that puckering sourness that I find in other examples of this style but this is not all that sour. Very smooth but only slight sourness. Underneath it all picking up notes of the barrels with slight cherry. While not the most sour this is still a decent beer and fairly easy to drink. 3.0

M: Mouthfeel is ok. Medium carbonation but the pop and tingle that other wild ales have is missing. 3.0

O: Overall I really wanted to like this beer more than I did. Its a great looking and great smelling beer. However, the taste and mouthfeel come up short. 3.5

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

bottled feb 02 2009

pours a cola black with a creamy head. some lacing.

old oak and white wine shine through this. some light cherry. hint of funk

charred wood and old stale malt really stick out to me. lots of funk, very dominating. some light old white wine. some light cherry or flanders.

has some spritz to it, nice moderate tingle. light body

the flavor just seems to be a bit of a mess at this point. overly funky. gets old quick.

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Photo of aasher
2.16/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Zinfandel barrel aged I'm told. Pours a medium bodied Coca Cola brown in color with beige lacing. It smells of grape juice, what the hell? The flavor is the slightest of tarts with a lot of grape and grape skins without being tannic. It has low acidity as well. This is just weird. It has so much grape without showing any wine characteristics. Were they going for that? Hopefully not. Overall I can't like it. It's artificial and awkward. It's a no go all around. Welchs grape juice hybrid gone wrong.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Received in the Tickers BIF from Phelps. Thanks.

A: Black in color, with a tad bit of light coming through the edges. Half finger head tan head with ok retention and nice lacing.

S: A slight tart that turns sour very fast. Mainly sour apples but some other fruits as well. A slight bit of oak and a definite wine quality.

T: Some light dark cherry notes upfront that become tart and sour. A funky sour in the middle that is a bit off flavor. The oak comes through a lot in the finish along with a bitterness from the wine.

M: Medium light body. Higher carbonation. A touch crisp and a touch dry.

O: A mediocre Wild Ale. Don't know if it's the type of wine barrel it's aged in or what, but the flavor just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of Arenbeer
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip glass

Bottled Feb 10 2009 Production 694 Cases

A- Pours solid black with no light showing through at all. On top of the body is a small off white khaki looking head that creates no more than a small rim around the side of the glass. Looks real good for a sour. Suprisingly has some nice alcohol feet as well

S- Up front is tons of funk and brett notes. Horse blanket, barnyard, hay, and lactic notes. On top of that are plenty of vinous aromas, cider or vinegar, and white grapes, green apple, and roasted burnt char. Smells pretty decent, could use more barrel presence.

T- Wow way more tamed than I would have expected from the nose. Up front I get a lot of vinegar and an almost bile like flavor. A good amount of smoke and char with slight funk and barnyard brett flavors. Very vinous and purple grape forward with subtle notes of oak and fruits. The barrels come through quite a bit but don't really help at all. Not to impressed with this one.

M- Medium to lighter body with moderate carbonation a slightly tart not even bitter of interesting finish for a sour.


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Photo of Phelps
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first release in the Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series, Brabant is a combination of Old Jubilation wort, Belgian abbey yeast and Brettanomyces aged for 8 months in zinfandel barrels. This bottle was capped Feb. 10, 2009 and poured into a tulip.

Pretty much black, completely opaque and topped with one finger of cocoa-colored fizz that pops away within seconds. A thin, equally fizzy ring is all that remains.

Many dark fruits in the nose: blackberry, cherry, plum. Sweet brown sugar, candied pecan, purple grape, vanilla, some butter. Mild balsamic in the back. Very sweet, very good.

The flavor displays the dark fruit character of a quad or Belgian special dark ale. Amidst the spicy/sweet experience, ripe grapes and fresh oak mix with figs, balsamic vinegar and a bit of cocoa. Funk is prominent, taking over the flavor just a bit too much.

The body’s nice, just a touch under medium and breaking into silky fizz as it moves. Carbonation is prickly, poking the tongue. At nearly nine percent, the alcohol should be more prominent than it is, which is nice.

I’m late to the game, apparently. Avery’s released several barrel-aged sours since Brabant, but this is my first experience with the series. The reason? It’s hard to pull the trigger on a $9 12-ounce, which is why my local still has about about 20 bottles of this stuff still sitting on the shelf. It’s tasty, of course, but not worth that kind of price tag.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

AVERY BRABANT , Cheval de trait Belge, Barrel-aged Wild Ale , Feb. 10, 2009. Production 694 cases.

No. 1 in our barrel-aged series, ale aged in Zinfandel bottles. 8.65 % ALC/Vol.

Dark brown body, slim off-white head.

Aroma: zinfandel hits first, then sour, then …great complexity. This is a deep one, hard to wrap around the noggin. Dark, malty brown ale lies beneath, the sour and the wine holding ground above. Tiniest sweetness, plenty of tart.

Taste: here it is, again. The tasty tango between the malt below, and the sour above, with the wine effect casting a spell above all. Yum. Mmmmm. Sour cherries are the main flavor, with blackberry and grape working in there, too. Some chocolate malt shows itself, some richness grows and spreads. Mmmm, tangy and tasty, lush and comforting. Genius, this. Delish.

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Brabant from Avery Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 387 ratings.
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