Brabant | Avery Brewing Company

very good
296 Reviews
no score
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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 Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at The Ginger Man. A very nice wild ale. Dark chocolate colour, with small Caesar off-white head. Good lace. Some chocolate, a wild ale taste all he way, good bitterness, with a tart finish. While nicely drinkable, had to share out a 330 ml with other patrons as I got it in the first half of the bottle. Would work with food.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a reddish color with some fizzy bubbles on top. The head fades quickly and doesn't leave any lacing at all. The beer smells sour, very acidic aroma. The taste of the beer gives off plenty of sour cherry flavors and a little bit of oak. The mouthfeel has a tart bite to it. Not much carbonation here. Overall I sound this brew to be a lot like a wine. It was ok, but I'm not going to miss it.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a ring of beige bubbles surrounding the edge of the glass and some lacy patterns in the center. A medium to high amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There is a moderate amount of sourness in the nose along with some notes of cherries and hints of oak.
T: Like the smell, the taste is mostly sour; there are some notes of cherries and oak as well as hints of dark roasted malts and vinegar in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because the sourness isn't overpowering and the alcohol is well hidden from both the smell and taste.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque fudge color with a magnificent, rocky tan head; lots of large bubbles and plenty of lace

Smell: The Zin barrel aging is prominent on the nose, with cherries, grapes and funky Brett underneath

Taste: Wine grape and cherry flavors mingle with toasty caramel elements on the front end, with a building Brett tartness that unfolds by mid-palate; after the swallow, the funk blossoms, leaving the other elements that appeared up front to play a supporting role; an interesting cocoa and allspice flavor appears in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This beer has aged nicely in my cellar and is a nice balance between a variety of surprising aspects; a worthy experiment

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Photo of emerge077
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks and smells the part of a Wild Ale, if blindfolded I would have said Madrugada Obscura from Jolly Pumpkin. Pours black with a crimson glint when backlit, fizzy bubbles fade to a ring, leaving spotty lace. Very complex nose, wet gravel and hay, moss, dried berries, dark malts. Flavor is very dry and Brett forward, a distracting metallic note is also there with some astringency. Lingering scorched popcorn kernels and dark berry. Feels dry and effervescent at first, but deflates across the palate. Berry or Zin gives it a trace sweetness that cues the salivary glands ever so slightly. Flavors are interesting, but in the end don't feel harmonious. Hope this series refines itself as it progresses...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dark deep brown color ale with a nice thick brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of vinous notes with light dry fruits notes. Taste is a quite complex mix with great notes of Zinfandel and dry plums with light residual sweetness. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very complex mix between the wine barrel and the dark Belgian ale used as the base beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, dark copper/burgundy color with a small, foamy, off-white head. It left a little lace.

S - It smelled of some sour funk and a little vinegar.

T - It tasted musty and funky with a sweet caramel. It also had some peppery heat with touches of dark fruits.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied wild ale.

D - This is an interesting wild ale. I think I'd prefer to not have it barrel aged.

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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 mothman
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles on Feb. 10, 2009

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

Color is an opaque black. 2 finger thick tan head. Leaves thick splattered lace. Good retention. Very appealing.

Aroma: Not something I am enjoying a lot of . I am getting the zinfandel aroma out of it. Dried grapes. Slight alcohol. Very musky.

Taste: Wow, very unique. Definitely reminds me of red wine (obv. served warm). Very dry beer. Yeasty, boozy, dried grapes. Taste is way better than the aroma. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Very tarty and sweet. Smooth. Ends with an aftertaste similar to when drinking wine.

Overall, glad I got to try this beer. Very amazing. Sipping it to enjoy it as long as I can. I highly recommend. I could easily have another, but it is kind of pricey.

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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 nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of light brown head that rests on top of an opaque, black body. The foam settles quickly and leaves only minor lace.

S - A complex aroma of acids and funk. Balsamic vinegar notes of acetic acid and oak with phenolic wild yeast character that gets musty in the finish with notes of cheese and goat. The tart, funky character is backed by malty sweetness and light caramel.

T - Strong malt character up front; lots of caramel and molasses notes. The acidity comes out next and blends with the molasses character and some tannic oak to create a salty, soy like flavor. Finishes with more molasses, acetic acid and oak, this time with a hint of vanilla, as well as a bit of boozy alcohol. Lingering flavors of oak and roasted malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a very different spin on sour beer. It doesn't quite fit in with the couple of sour stouts that I have had, in that has relatively little roasted character and seems to focus more on toffee and molasses in terms of malt. Unfortunately this doesn't work all that well in the flavor as the molasses, acetic acid, and oak combine to form a meaty, soy sauce like character that overshadows the rest of the beer's character. The aroma is quite nice, like a more malt centric Flemish red, but the flavor kind of kills it for me. Worth a try, but the cost and the flavor make it a definite one time experience for me.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at SMBDC growler/bottle tasting thanks to BlessedBeBeer.

A: Creamy head of 1 finger, super dark molasses brown almost black color.

N: Brett funk, sour fruit and malts, funky barnyard, some dark malts, oak a light vanilla, light vinegar, tart aromas.

T: Lots of dry Brett funk, barnyard, light sour fruit, tart dry funk, bready malts, light spicy dark malts. Finishes dry wild funky, spicy lingering, some malts and light tart fruit.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: Decent wild flavors, nice Brett, after 1+ years aging, nice dark malts too, pretty tasty.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery surprised me with this one! I was expecting something golden, but this is dark, and - chocolatey! It's not very chocolatey, but there's a definite component to it. It's subtly roasty as well; and of course there's a solid woodiness. Beyond that, or I guess even before you even get to that, there's the funky barnyard. It's bright and intriguing with lots of leather and some manure along with a sharp note of tartness. The aroma reminds me very much of the chestnuts being roasted by street vendors in Manhattan during the holiday season. And then wood and funk and a fruity vinous note. And mixed with the caramelish and chocolatey notes it gives an almost spicy character as well (think ginger cookies or something like that). The bitterness is of course limited, but there's a bit there. The balance is impeccable though. You couldn't go any more "sharp" without throwing the darker malt notes out of balance and leaving the whole thing askew. And I guess that's what's most interesting about it - it delivers a lot of funkiness up front, but then it also offers a good chunk of maltiness behind it. Finally, in the finish, they merge into one rounded, polished note. It's like chocolate and wine and horse shit! :) - quite nice, and fairly complex. The alcohol, at 8.65% abv, is not really noticeable, yet I think it does make an impression in the overall character, and along with the woodiness lends to that spiciness I mentioned earlier. Well worth seeking out. A really unique "Belgian" style beer brewed in America.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body topped with a rich, beige-hued lather. Modest amount of lace.

Smell: Rich scent of wild black cherries, discarded wine barrels, darkened malts, lactic acid, subdued Bretty funkiness, and just a touch of vanilla.

Taste: Dark malts with a restrained amount of sweetness sets a canvas for quite an array of complexities. Fruit flavors of black currants and black cherry with a strong, tart taste of red wine all the while. Pinch of anise. The Brettanomyces is definitely evident, but not particularly assertive at this time. Robust, earthy wood barrel taste. Moderate lactic sourness, a touch of astringent tannins, and a fair amount of acidity. Slight taste of vanilla upon further warming. The taste shifts to a more head-on, bold wine flavor as you work your way through the bottle. The finish is all at once fruity, funky, and tangy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: This is certainly one to revisit somewhere down the road. An interesting brew and certainly a change of pace for Avery. Sensibly, it's sold in 12 ounce bottles; I just can't see myself reaching the bottom of a bomber of this. We'll just have to see where time takes this one.

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

Darkest mahogany with no highlights whatsoever. The upper third of the snifter is filled with a quality crown of wheat toast colored mousse that is developing a gently rocky surface as it melts. Meandering streamers of sea foam lace look good as well.

Nose doesn't even have to be over glass for the telltale funk of Brettanomyces Bruxelles to be appreciated. The next highest score would have been earned with ease if either the dark malts or the Zinfandel barrel-aging were more noticeable. Still, this should be damn good beer.

Brabant is release No. 1 in the Avery Barrel-Aged Series and was bottled on February 10, 2009. It has held up very well, with no signs of age in flavor or mouthfeel. For those who care about such things, Old Jubilation wort was combined with Belgian abbey yeast, then a portion was aged for one year in barrels that had previously held Zinfandel wine.

The result is almost complex enough to be special... but not quite. The malts contribute a little more on the palate, with hints of cocoa and a dark fruitiness reminiscent of a BSDA. The purple grape vinousness of Zin is noted as well, although I probably couldn't have identified that contribution if blinded.

If the suggestion box is open, and if Avery plans to release this brew again, they might think about easing off the wild yeast a little, emboldening the malts, and using leakier barrels. Warming helps... and confirms that this ale is on the cusp of greatness.

The mouthfeel, although not the biggest brute on the block, is matched exceptionally well with the flavor profile. It's medium-weight silky smooth and the bubbles are without fault. Solid job all around.

Brabant (a geographic region of Belgium) is a fine first effort in what is a promising new series from one of Colorado's best craft breweries. Lovers of 'da funk' will find plenty of enjoyment in this 12 oz. bottle. Unfortunately, a price tag of $8.99 is 50% too high.

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Goebel's in Wichita, let's give this a whirl:

Pours an effervescent ebony with a finger of mocha colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Barnyard funk & dark fruit, plus some leather once up to near room temperature

T: Plums & prunes interlaced with some horseblanket & a touch of licorice & molasses up front. Sour raisin, dryness, & tartness are all there as this warms. The sourness & tartness picks up as this warms, plus a touch of booze warmth. Finishes tart with a hint of chocolate, oaky dryness, hints of vinegar & the impression I've been sucking on oak chips for an hour

MF: Slick with fairly subdued carbonation

Drinks pretty good, a much more solid/predictable offering than say the 15th Anniversary offering, was dreading another bacon/pork rind offering, or least wasn't too keyed up about the prospect... Sour beer fans should enjoy this, not on par with Russian River, but pretty good. A bit too pricey; over $6 a bottle as I recall

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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 mikesgroove
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was lucky enough to get a bottle of this one in a trade recently. I had ben wanting to try it but was unsure how it would turn out, so thrilled to be able to get it here. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/11/2009.

Dark brown in color, nearly black, quite suprised by how dark it was. The small tan head rose up quick, fading into a small, but whisp broken crown that hung out on the top for the remainder of the session. The aroma was intresting. Subtle notes of grapes, hints of light woody and oak notes and a decent, yet subtle touch of sweetness to it. I have to say though I was a little dissapointed as it came across a bit light and not as full as I would have thought. Same could be said for the taste, while nice, decent notes of oak and a touch of even waht seemed like vanilla mixed in with a light funk, I just was not impressed with it. Maybe it needs more time, not sure, but this was not really what I was looking for. Decent but I do not think I would pay for it at this time.

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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 mdfb79
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 07/07/11 notes. Big thanks to Huhzubendah for bringing this one and giving me a very generous pour of it; thanks Matt! Been wanting to try this one for a while. Bottled 02/10/09, so almost 2.5 years old. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Fantome tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with a reddish tint, one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour dark fruits, especially cherries, oak, and roasted malts. Also light grapes and vinegar. Some definite sourness to the nose.

t - Tastes of sour cherries, dark fruits, roasted malts, white wine, light wood, and earthy notes. Not quite as sour as the nose and the roasted malts come through a lot, but I liked it.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall an interesting wild ale, but I liked it. Not what I normally picture in a wild ale, as there was a lot of roasted malts in the nose and taste, but some definite sour cherries and dark fruits come through. Would like to try it again and was glad to try.

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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 Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

The last time I popped one of these with Matt, I promptly knocked my glass over and fed the beer to my living room carpet.

The beer appears a profoundly deep, dark shade of walnut brown. The beer has a sizable, thick, beige head that exhibits lasting retention and generates ample lacing upon the glass. The aroma is primarily of alcohol and wine barrels, with a slightly funky scent. The beer is funky, but not terribly sour, per se. The barrel character comes through with fervor, and the beer is very tannic in nature. The feel is medium to full bodied, quite a bit thicker than is customary for a sour / wild ale. Alcohol is evident in the olfactory senses and present throughout tasting. A good choice for a sipper, this is best shared and consumed in small quantities.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of brett, lemons, sour cherries, almost a smoked malt character in there, maybe from the barrel. Taste is fruity and funky. A bit of phenol, spicy Belgian yeast, and a touch of alcohol mid way. Finishes quite dry but leaves a lingering funk mixed with lemons on my palette. Carbonation is middle of the road, refreshing as a lot of sours seem over carbonated to me. Body is medium with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is syrupy. The brett character comes out well in this. Easy drinker, for a funkified brown ale.

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

It seems appropriate to pour this into my newly acquired Cantillon glass.

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head. Lots of lacing on the way down. I find the color rather odd as I have never seen a wild ale of this tone. Nose is faint hints of Brett infused wood, cherry, and the typical funkyness. It'd be great if there were more of a kick on the nose from this. Flavor is minor lactic tones with the woody sourness you expect. Bretti s definitely there, but like the nose, I find it a bit mild in the overall scheme of things. There seems to be a touch of vanilla on things as well. Feel is smooth on liquid and the carbonation is middle of the road I'd say. This is a mild wild IMO. Hehe. Mild wild. It rhymes. Get it? Anywho. I bet this would be better after about 2 years of cellar time. Still though it is good. I'd love to know what the base beer for this was since it is so dark.

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Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RussPowell for this!

Pours black with ruby highlights around the edges and a nice tan head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of sour - green apple - with licorice. It has a musty wood and red grape character. Sweet and sour, with a hint of chocolate as well. Robust.

It is sour - apple and red grapes come to mind. It is balanced by a chocolatey sweetness and a light touch of roast. Licorice/anise adds to the complexity. Sour/tart, sweetness and a light touch of roast and bitter all blend with sour/funk dominating. A hint of alcohol shows in a warming way.

It is creamy, smooth and full-bodied without being thick or syrupy.

Despite the alcohol and complexities this has great drinkability. Goods down smoothly while maintaining richness. Unique and delcious. The zin barrels add a nice character here - done very well. Kudos to Avery for brewing a beer that complements the slightly chocolatey character of a Zin. Nice funk too, but balanced and very approachable.

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