Brabant | Avery Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Brett

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.65%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brabant is a 8.65% abv dark unfiltered beer, fermented entirely with Brettanomyces and aged in Zinfandel barrels for nine months.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 298 | Ratings: 391
Reviews by Georgiabeer:
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm. I wish this beer were a year older. It's fairly tasty right now, but not nearly sour enough. I guess I'll have to buy a few more and put them down. Seems to be the new trend. Release sour beers before they've really soured. They did the same thing with 15, which I think is much better now than upon release. I think this trend does a disservice to the breweries in question as the beer never gets rated as highly as it should since most BAs and RBers review it before it is at its peak. I would have liked this to have seen some more time and/or be more sour. I was hoping for something more along the lines of The Platypus for their 1st beer in the barrel aged series. As it stands, right now it is far more oaky and tannic and fruity than it is sour. There is some faint hint of sourness, but no real complexity has developed yet. There are some vinous notes, and a lot of oak as well, but everything hasn't melded together yet and the tartness that should be there hasn't developed yet. The best part of this beer by far is the aroma. It hints at what is to come, with lighter oak and wine notes and a clean, more pronounced acetic kick, and everything in balance. I'll be interested to see where this beer goes, but I wish we wouldn't adopt the wine model of early releases of beverages that are too tightly wound to really enjoy now. How about we take a page from Cantillon instead and release stuff after age and blending have done their magic? While this is perfectly drinkable right now, it isn't at all what it could (maybe should?) be. Still, I'm very glad to see the brewery embarking upon a barrel aging program an hope to see these beers becoming more complex and accomplished as time goes on. For now, here is a toast to a good idea!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of steph1974
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of sevopie
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Black, with hints of brown at the edge. Pours a frothy light brown head. Not at all what I was expecting from a wild ale... intriguing.

Smell - A few sour fruit notes, as well as a noticeable wine smell. I'm a big fan of Zinfandels, so I'm definitely ready to take a sip.

Taste - Smoky earthy notes start out, and you get a mild bit of the zinfandel on the tongue. The malt shines through more than I thought it would, and the sour is relatively subdued.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light on the weight, with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability - Surprisingly high for this kind of beer. Usually one of the sour ones and I'm done for the night, but this is surprisingly mild and refreshing.

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Shumista
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. One of those remarkably available limited release exclusive beers. I'm not accusing Avery of overhyping the limited nature of the beer, but I have seen a ton of this stuff in Michigan. Just seems a bit at odds to me. Nonetheless a very nice Christmas gift and probably not a bottle I would have bought for myself so I'm plenty happy to have it.

A- Dark brown with burgundy highlights. Small off white fizzy head.

S- Fruity vinegar, and red wine. Sour and acidic smelling.

T- Pretty unique to me, but I'm just getting into sours so its uniqueness may be more because of that. Tart cherries, red wine vinegar, red wine, oak, earthy notes, some funk. I think its the guys on the craft beer radio podcast who refer to horse blanket taste...there's a little bit of that going on here. Obviously I haven't had an unaged version but I imagine the wine barrels had a large influence on the final product here.

M- Medium bodied, a little bit of warmth from the alcohol.

D- After my first sip I thought I might not finish it, but it has been steadily growing on me and I find myself enjoying it as I get near the bottom of the glass.

Very unique, I'm glad I tried it. I wouldn't buy it again for myself because of the price, but I would pick up a bottle or two to share with friends.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Bons Voeur chalice this wild ale is a dark and muddy brown with a tan head. The beer is quite opaque in the light and might even be a new style - "wild swartz ale."

The aroma is fruity and funky. There's plenty of cherries, and without a doubt that famous horse blanket aroma (in a good way).

The taste is tart but not overly so, extremely malty and almost chewy. The viscosity of this beer makes the flavors last much longer than they would otherwise. There is plenty of tart fruit - green apples, tangerines, and wild cherries. The brett has taken this beer to a very unique and flavorful place. The flavors is how I would imagine mixing 3/4 St. Bernardus Apt 12 and 1/4 Consecration.

Mouthfeel is extremely thick and chewy - this is the most viscous wild I've ever had! I would think that the wild yeast would make this a bit thinner but there must be some unfermentable sugars (maltose, dexetrose or something along those lines). This could use more carbonation for my taste.

Drinkability is quite high as the alcohol is hidden and the tartness is cut by the malt sugars. I would drink this again although not in this session - this is why I had to dock some points for drinkability.

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Photo of natasharai
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a very large light brown multitextured and creamy head that dissipated leaving some really lacing on my glass. The beer is a very dark brown and only lets a little light through around the edges of the glass.

Smell: Sweet berries, quite tangy, a bit sour, funky musky hay, sweet woody smell, toffee or chocolate toward the end. Some sour apple starts to come out as it warms.

Taste: Slightly sweet up front, then bitter hops, very small tangy sour flavor, then a bit of an astringent flavor, small funky musty flavor toward the end.

Mouthfeel: thin to medium body, nice carbonation, very very small sour bite, small bitter feeling, then leaves mouth with a sweet and small alcohol flavor. Overall a little bit watery.

Overall: Alright drinkability. The smell is far better than the taste. Small bitter and astringent/alcohol flavor that really takes away from everything. A bit watery in the taste and feel but still pretty tasty.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark mahogany brown with a thin off-white/tan head and a decent amount of lacing. Nose brings forward quite a bit of acetic and lactic sourness, with the acetic character taking over a little bit. Also a bit of roasted malt, wood, and sour cherries. Taste brings the cherries and malt forward a bit, and has a moderate amount of a balsamic vinegar taste. Just a touch in that it doesn't detract too many from the beer's flavor. Feel is fairly light and quite sour. Drinks really well with a lot going on throughout.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on Feb 10, 2009. Fermented with 2 different types of Brett. Pours a deep brown color. Really not the color I was expecting but ok. The aroma is funky brett and dark fruit. The initial taste is ok with notes of grape and the brett. The ending for me is not that good. It has a bitterness to it that I don't like, almost like there was too much hops added. Re-Rate: For sure pick up notes of from the Zin barrels in the nose. Slightly sour with the funk following. I actually don't mind the ending anymore. It's totally funky but decent.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fools to retire this beer. It's a homerun. Loved it!

appearance: pitch black... suprising... lots of head retention and lacing. nice..

smell: roasted malt, and subtle chooclate and brett funk

taste: perfectly balanced sour to roasted malt flavoer. vinegar and coffee don't go well together. But if it balanced it can be pulled off and this beer nailed it.

mouthfeel: medium bodied. heavy carbonation.

drinkability: loved this beer. I wil stock up if i see again.

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

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, foiled, with a nice label, a nice little ditty about the beer, and a bottled on date of Feb. 2009

Appearance: Nearly opaque dark brown beer, shows just hints of walnut around teh edges when held up to a bright light...poured into a Ommegang chalice, this has a creamy light sandy cap which soon fades to a thick, persistent film. Looks nice.

Smell: Really pretty aromas of sweet, ripe strawberries (actually maybe this is closer to old-fashioned strawberry candy?), and wonderful sweet/tart Bretty funk. This would easily be a notch higher, if it was a bit more complex.

Taste: Tart and bretty up front, very earthy funk, just a hint of bubblegum, lots of tart cherry and kind of sour red-wine notes. A bit of oaky tannin as well. Touch of dark malt and some generic black fruit as well. Ends soemwhat grassy/herbal-bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a bit silky

Drinkability: Good, but one's prob. good in a sitting

Conclusion: The aromas of this blew me away, I thought I was in for something killer. In that, I was mildly disappointed; I wish some of the awesome strawberry notes present in the aromas were represented in the flavor, buuuttt, other than that, this is a really tasty dark Bretty ale, and the wine-barrel aging is (1) pretty obvious, and (2) really adds an interesting note.

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Photo of nick76
2.64/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is right for a wild fermentation, it's sour and funky with wood, wine, and malt. The appearance is deep red brown with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma and not to my liking. Overall the palate is right for the style. Overall it's a quality beer but it just doesn't taste good.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark brown with a solid off-white head. A lot darker than I expected, but very nice head for a wild ale.

S- Pleasant aroma. Had a nice brett smell accompanied by a vinous, sour characteristic.

T- Terribly disappointing. Tastes nothing like the aroma leads to believe. This beer reminded me more of a flanders type beer than anything else. Had a low vinegar, acidic taste with a tinge of a salt in the finish. Combine this taste with the dark brown appearance and it almost makes you want to believe you're drinking a low grade soy sauce. This is definitely not a sour.

M- Medium bodied with some low carbonation. There was something off about this beer. The pieces just didn't fit.

D- It's ok, but expect to be drinking a flanders style of beer when opening this one up.

Overall, this was a very disappointing sour. Definitely not even close to the quality sours that I have had and definitely not worth the hefty $9 price tag.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from 2009 served into tasting glasses

Pours a deep mahogany color, sort of like a Little Debbie brownie. Perhaps coincidentally, the half-finger of head was the color of the nuts sprinkled on top of Little Debbie brownies. The color is one-note, and dark enough to block out any nuances of color. I guess it's fine, though.

Brabant's nose places it firmly on the funkier side of the American Wild Ale. The funk is mild, but horseblanket, faint hay and a certain fungal component are unmissable. There's some acetic character too: a splash of malt vinegar and another splash of balsamic vinegar. More interesting to me is the maraschino cherry aroma. Pretty good stuff.

Do you know how New Glarus Cherry Stout tastes? Chocolate flavored malts and sour cherry? That's what Brabant tastes like, only more sour and with a tasteful amount of Brett funk. It's actually a straightforward beer: horseblanket, old leather, brown malts (that thankfully hold their own), tart cherries, some balsamic vinegar. It's balanced pretty well at this point. Not my favorite wild ale, but certainly an approachable one.

The carbonation was still kicking, which livens up the thin-ish body of the beer. Decent length of finish. My overall impression is that this is a solid wild ale. It doesn't blow me away by any means, but it is well-composed. It's biggest strength is the integrity of its malt flavors.

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Photo of jjanega08
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A= pours a dark brown black color with smber highlights when held up to the light. The head is about two fingers but doesn't look like it really wants to hold together well but it certainly does. I guess the head isn't thick enough but it gets the job done and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.
S= little cherries and lots of brett. There's a small amount of vinegar noticed as well but I suppose the predominent odor is bretty sort of cherries which equates to a sort of soft cheesy cherry smell that's close but not quite a candy cherry smell.
T= suprising tasting. At first I noticed the sour cherry taste. Not as bretty as I picked up in the smell. That's quickly taken over by a roasted malt flavor that is mixed with some of the sour vinegar sort of taste. Then there's another layer of complexity when the cherries come back with the brett... a little cheesy anfd cherry like. The finish is like a porter taste with dark malts like roasted barley and maybe some chocolate malt. But there's a little sharp acidity that comes from it as well sort of cleaning the back of my tongue. A little alcohol burn as well. After I take a couple more sips and I take a deep breathe and ehale out my nose I notice a fishy kind of taste. Which just ruined everything else I tasted in it.
M= dry as hell with the acidity cleaning my tongue off and the sweetness coming through.
D= this beer is just a porter aged in barrels with sour bacteria and brett. I give them credit for trying it but I just don't think a porter is made to be soured. Interesting and I'm glad I tried it because it answered some questions of mine but it just doesn't work like most sours do.

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Photo of atremains
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This ominious looking opaque brew caught me off gaurs immediately with it's stoutlike resemblence. The 2 finger head was pretty stubborn leaving very little lacing throughout the drink. I'm getting a lot of the zinfandel, grapes, apple, and other fruity characters in the nose. To me it smells a bit like cheese. It's quite similar to a lambic. The taste is sour with the zin and sour fruit flavors holding the throne. Mouthfeel is medium or bit under and kind of fizzy but enjoyable. It's an interesting adventure but not one I would make regularly.

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Photo of cbutova
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a tough one to judge, at first it sort of blows you away but as I sip on it more, it grows on me, probably like the wild yeast used to brew it would. Pours a dark brown, which was very surprising, with a 1.5 finger fizzzy head that dissipated quite rapidly. No thick lacing left on the glass as it empties. The smell takes away from the beer, I smell fruits, sour apples, cherries, zinfandel and cheese/funk, maybe some vinegar and ketchup in there too, taking away from the smell a bit. The taste grew on me as I drank it more. Picking up sour fruit, cherries and apples, some black pepper, lots of zinfandel, (pretty cool attribute, IMO), and more sour, less funky stuff in the taste but a bit is still present. Mouthfeel was medium and highly carbed/fizzy, which was something I enjoyed, leaves a good zinfandel taste on the tongue to be enjoyed. Drinkability is averge because of the sourness and the funky notes, both of which would probably get a bit sickening after a while.

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Photo of hensonkid
2.31/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Aroma: Funk-forward that promises lots of oak and stuff that oak probably grows out of. A little acidic twinge in there too, as well as some old Halloween candy.

Appearance: Gorgeous pour and nice creamy head. Super-dark all the way through, disguising the sediment that must be swimming around in this.

Flavor: Assault of oak. A lot of Zin on the back end, along with all the attendant dark fruit flavors you'd expect in that profile. Sourness and acidity are too timid and get lost in an almost Goodyear-strength rubber taste. Complexity is apparent, but really difficult to unravel. Suggests a need for further aging.

Mouthfeel: Tannins are actually nice and the dry-pucker is what I hoped for. A little creamier than I expected.

This a really interesting, though not entirely enjoyable (yet), ale. The enthusiasm comes through loud and clear, but more patience is required in the conditioning. My remaining bottles are going to nap for at least 6 months in the basement before I give it another go. I am excited, however, to taste what happens with all that brett and oak with a little more time.

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

Bottle From shigadeyo.

Poured dark brown color with a large frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy sour yeasty aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy sweet & sour flavor with a medium sweet & sour finish of moderate to long duration.

My expectations where met with another of the top six as a sweet flemish sour style.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I decided on a whim to bring this beer out for Treyrab, Nittanybeerfan, and myself CoolJosh.

The look on this, VERRY NICE (Borat Accent). This pours from a 12 oz into a tulip. The beer is a nice dark brown hazy body that is followed by a light ring of off white head. Looks like a typical darker wild.

This smells like a stinky piece of cheese. Unbelievable, nice bitter chocolate, bitter/tart lemon. Some nice vanilla. Slight horse blanket coats the nose. Unfortunately there is a falling off point that really falls short...

... Same with the taste. There's something missing. All of the scents that are in the nose are mirrored in the taste. Same great cheese taste, same great bitter chocolate taste. It just falls short in complexity which is a crying shame because this beer has the potential to be an incredible wild. Develops as it warms but what beer doesn't...?

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Photo of bowersdm
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass (I really need to get a flute). Bottled on Feb. 10, 2009. This is my first American Wild Ale.

A - black with a little bit of ruby near the bottom of the glass. a 1cm tan head formed, but quickly dissipated into nothing. I wasn't expecting it to be so dark. I had to double check the bottle to make sure Brabant wasn't just a contaminated barrel aged version of "The Czar."

S - I have never had a Zinfandel before, so I apologize in advance for not knowing what that smells like (or tastes like). The smell is predominantly lactic acid with the usual brett mustiness. Sour berries are also present (raspberries, cherries, or grapes?). Definitely sour, tart, acidic, and musty.

T - Tart and musty throughout with lactic acid and brett rearing their ugly (yet desirable) head. Sour fruit likes cherries, grapes, and even some raisins or prunes. roasted malt, a touch of cocoa along with some caramel or caramel malt. oak is present as a slight smokiness. The flavor seems to me to be a Belgian style imperial stout that's been aged in barrels used for lambics, though not quite as strong as an imperial stout. there may be some hops in the finish (they come across as grassy and piney), but i'm usually puckering when i swallow and I am not quite sure what I'm tasting. The beer leaves a lingering taste of musty attic in my mouth. After about 10 minutes of sipping on this, I'm getting a slight cassium/cinnamon taste.

M - body was on the highside of medium with the carbonation of champage (or seltzer water).

D - I don't know what to make of this. It's a very good beer, but I don't think I could drink it all that often. When i have a beer with Brett, I prefer the beer to be predominantly fruity as opposed to the dark roasted character of this one. It's still pretty good, though.

Notes: Again, first wild ale, but I've had quite a few Flanders Reds, Lambics, and Guezes.

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Photo of BeefTongue
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer appeared a dark brown on the pour and was opaque when held to light. Smelling was a treat; the tartness of the farm ale yeast fermentation, accentuated by the sweet and sour aromas of the Zinfandel make for an intriguing odor that refreshes with every swallow. Taste was nice and tart, but not at all in an off putting manner (coming from one who is not particularly fond of the farm ale/lambic/barley wine styles); I found that, overall, the flavor had a nice balance. From the first touch of the tongue to the swallow, one experiences a range of sweet and tart to a hearty, but subtle, bitterness in the back of the mouth. Mouthfeel is pleasant--smooth, good carbonation, but nothing terribly remarkable. As far as drinkability is concerned, I'd drink several of these if I had them; the beer is delicious and refreshing all in all.

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Photo of jkendrick
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish-brown color with just a touch of light. Nice head that sticks around for a while and good lacing.

Aroma: Very yeasty. The sour yeasty smell definitely overshadows everything else, but there is some black pepper and dark fruits in there as well. I don't note too much alcohol though and no oak.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but almost slippery in the mouth. There is some prickly carbonation.

Taste: The first taste is that yeasty sourness. You can definitely taste the zinfandel in the finish, but it is almost sherry-like as well. Once the initial sourness fades a bit, you can taste black pepper spiciness and some dark fruits, most predominantly raspberries. I really didn't taste much alcohol at all which surprised me for the abv.

Overall impression: I don't have a of experience with bretts or sours in general. The strong yeastiness takes a bit of getting used to. But overall, I'd say the zinfandel barrels do a good job of balancing out the sourness, though not providing the oakiness I was expecting. I have no idea how this one will age, but this is obviously a very young bottle. I have another bottle and will update this review after it has had some time to age.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled Feb 10th, 2009

Poured into a wine glass. Dark brown body with a thin, lightly-tan, head. Nice lacing left behind. Looks pretty good.

Grapes, oak, cherries and a bit of alcohol on the nose. Some hay and barnyard sweat. The alcohol is heavier than other wilds. Sweet overall with ripe oak. Little bit of green apple brett. Strong, but nice complexity.

The flavor reminds me of a dark ale laced with grapes and put to rest on oak. I get a mixture of red and white grapes. Light cherries, even a hint of of orange. Brett is easy to pick out and adds a touch of earthy funk. A little heavy on the alcohol, but I'm kind of enjoying this as a stronger wild. Overall, good complexity, but a bit harsh.

Mouthfeel is smooth with warming alcohol. The brett is already starting to dry things out a bit. Carbonation is about spot on. Good, but falls short of others in this category.

Drinkability is the lowest score on this beer. I like the aroma and the flavor is tasty in small sips, but a bottle is still more than I would want. This is mostly due to the presence of the ABV. Another decent wild in Avery's barrel series. I'm kind of interested to see where this one goes.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my duvel tulip

a-dark brown color when held up to light shows off some nice ruby highlights...1/8" tan head that faded quickly

s-earthy and oaky with a nice geuze type smell, vinegar and white wine in the nose followed by muscadines

t-much like a geuze, musty and up front sour with nice hints of vinegar and the zinfindale aging is def there followed by a slight sweetness then the sour and tartness kicks back in the aftertaste..

m-smooth with acidic notes and bubbly like champagne...medium mouthfeel...

d-i wouldnt want to have more than one in a night....but it is a very nice drinking beer

overall a very nice beer from avery...i give them full credit for pulling this style off here in the states and making it work..

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Brabant from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 391 ratings