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: 388
Photo of AleWatcher
1.8/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I brought a bottle to a recent tasting... Can't remember who sent me this thing, but thanks!
Reviewed from notes dictated into voice notes on my iphone.

"There's almost no sourness to this thing... Man, it's almost like a porter..." These are the first words on my voice note... Figured I'd include them simply because I spoke them.

Dark brown, minimal head, no lacing. Looks flat... Actually, looks kind of like old coffee.
Smell has some sweet and dark malts... and that's pretty much it. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on here. This is really disappointing to me.
The flavor starts sweet with caramel malts and a maple syrup note and a vinegary-soy sauce on the finish. Just the slightest hints of tartness and sourness-- but remaining short of being actually tart or actually sour. Just flat.

Nothing about this impresses me.
Overall, not good. This may have been good when fresh, but it certainly isn't good now.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.35/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Brown beer with some reddish highlights. Tan head that rose up about three fingers and had some moderate retention and lacing.

S - Smells horrible, like feet or rotting garbage. If you can get past that there is some vinegar and apple notes, along with some sweet malts. This is just horrifying though with the awful rotting smell.

T - Taste is mildly better with some more vinegar and sour/funk notes coming through. It still tastes kind of like garbage, so this isn't very good.

M - Littly slick, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - I found this beer to be repulsive and will not drink it again.

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Photo of warnerry
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 2/10/2009 into a tulip

A - pours dark brown with some reddish hues as well. Two fingers of tan head (there was a definite rush of gas release when I opened the bottle). Head is quite persistant and leaves some lacing.

S - has a nice funk and some apple cider vinegar aroma. Also pick up some sweet malts.

T - Wow, not much sourness in the taste. A bit disappointing really. What is there are dark sweet malts, a significant grape presence and a slight amount of cider vinegar. Not bad, but definitely not what I was expecting.

M - mouthfeel is medium and pretty smooth.

O - interesting and I'm glad I got to try it. Certainly not a "typical" wild ale (if there is such a thing). Maintains much of the characters of a belgian strong dark ale. Worth a try but I wouldn't pick up another.

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

633rd Review on BA
Bottle to small snifter
12 oz bottle

2/10/09 Bottling

Thanks to MattOlesh for this one.

App- Almost a purple like gatorade color with a faint amount of bubbling activity. No real lacing or cling to it.

Smell- This was very much one sided and smelled of grape juice. The spitziness of the barrels have faded in two years but was still okay.

Taste- A lot of the wine flavors of the barrels still lingers on in this one. Much more of a grape note to the taste with a mild malt presence.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. The grape flavors are mellow but still retain a little bit of sour note to them.

Drink- For the 1st in the series, this held up nicely to a couple years of age on it. It was tasty and balanced with a lot of complex notes.

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Photo of csiewert
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok so disclaimer... This bottle was over 2 years old when tasted. It pours a thick almost black color with a trace of tan head that dissipated quickly. The aroma is sour, with hints of cherry and wood. The taste starts sour and then becomes woody while finishing very dry. The mouthfeel is very dry and sucks the life out of your tounge... But that's the nature of the yeast. Overall a very unique beer experience.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark brown basically black liquid with a light brown head, thin tight bubbles.

S-the nose has some oak up front, lots of sweet cherries with a touch of sourness to it. there are some deep vinous qualities. sawdusty leathery brett in the back with a faint roasted quality.

T-the taste is much more muddled. the brett is a lot stronger and much less integrated. the roasted malt is also more present towards the back with a big cherry sweetness in the finish. the leather brett is there, the oak is very faint if present at all. a little bit of sourness but very light.

M-light body, a little oily, slightly thin in the back and light carbonation.

D-this is a decent sour, nothing very good here. the nose was much more integrated, the taste started to become slightly flabby and it lacked the tight dry body I enjoy in a good sour.

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Photo of harrymel
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: Feb 10, 2009
694 cases produced. One time only.

A: Pours a very dark brown of low translucency excepting the far edges which give a hint of cherry hues. Less than a finger of transient peanut foam leaving a spotty surface of the same with a confluent collar. Spotty and rare lacing. Brett is here.

S: As I lean into the glass I'm immediately met with a tart scent detailed with oak, yeast, sour cherries, and some hints of cider vinegar. Smells similar to a Flanders or Oud Bruin. When I pull the nose into my olfactory quickly, some chemical scents come thru: think rubber glue.

T: Sharp and dry up front. There's plenty of farmhouse flavor in here. Lots of soill, hay, grasses, leather and wood. Plenty bitter as well; wasn't anticipating that. Also anticipated some residual sugars in here but alas, nada. Finish is of minerals and additional organic elements. There's a spiciness I get from Califonia Zinfandel's and in the finish of some Malbec's - maybe some late tannic quality.

M: I'm having a harder time dictating the body on this one: the weight is relatively viscous and visceral, but the carbonation seems quite lively for a higher body. The finish is quite dry and warming - ABV is evident but I think this was intended and is not offsetting.

O: This is an interesting beer. I don't think the bacterial additions to this beer increased the quality of the beer much. I am not familiar with Avery's series of Bal aged beers, as such I can't speak to their consistency, but if this was their first attempt, I think they're off to a solid start to making some quality stuff a few years down the road (a long and bumpy road). Will not seek out again.

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

Pours an almost dark brown deep coffee with a hint of ruby round the edges. Room temp brings out the zin barrel and just a hint of dark malt sweetness. A touch of wine vinegar and toasty oak as well. Herbal, oaky, and vinous in the mouth, A little funk in the foreground, with some medicinal notes in the finish. Some dark malt and blackberry seed flavors mingle as well. Not all that sour and finishes dry. Light prickly carbonation. I am really enjoying this and feel that it is probably near the peak of its life, quite tasty.

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Photo of GrandCruDrew
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in my Hitachino tasting glass.

A-Dark brown, almost not able to see through. little head, little retention, just a hint of head covers the surface after 2 minutes.

S- subtle sour, caramel, oak and dark fruits.

T- Alot of people don't like what I'm about to describe...both in wine and beer, a characteristic of French Rhone I love it. Menthol, Eucalyptus, oak, zinfandel, brett, and dark fruits. Even herbal.

M- Very creamy and mouth coating.

Overall- I wish this beer had a better nose and more body, love the taste.

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Photo of abraxel
2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF 5, sent to me by sholland119. Poured into a snifter.

A - Very dark brown, almost opaque, but pretty thin. The head is very fizzy and dissipates quickly. Looks like a thin stout or porter, perhaps.

S - Some fruity, cherry esters, a bit sour. A touch of sweet, dark malt. The bretty sourness is somewhat nice, but could be better. This seems to be toeing the thin line between delicious sour beer and mediocre sour beer.

T - Similar to the aroma, there's some tart and sour cherry on top of somewhat smooth, dark malt. The sourness and funkiness is more up-front than in the aroma. Freshly chilled (to something like 45 degrees) it has some wine-like acidity and isn't bad, but as it warms it steps over that thin line. The slightly vinegary acidity gets too strong and clashes with the dark malt and it's a little unpalatable, almost reminiscent of stomach acid. But... now as I reach the end of the glass the acidity settles down and the cherry and dark malt come back into play, and the sourness complements the rest. Now it tastes good... Crap, I just don't know what to say.

M - Moderately smooth. In the middle, the gross acidity lingered far too much, but at the beginning and end it was perfectly fine.

Overall... wha? I truly enjoyed the last few ounces, but there was a temperature range where it was kinda gross.

Non-blind comments: I'm generally a fan of wild/sour beers, but for some reason this just didn't tickle my fancy. If I had started at cellar temp, I might have had a better experience, but there are just too many other tasty wilds for me to want to seek this one out again.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very dark brown liquid, bordering on black. The mocha head is thin but creamy and has nice retention.

S- Sour fruit, white wine, and funk. Maybe just a touch of cocoa. Very intriguing.

T- Sour fruit, white wine, and funk. Very sour, with a nice oaky wine finish.

M- Sour, acidic, and dry. The carbonation level is very nice.

D- A bit of a sipper, but it is very tasty. I was a bit skeptical of this, but it is extremely well executed and is aging quite nicely.

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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 holden303
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled February 10th 2009. No 1 in Avery's Barrel-Aged Series

A: Poured into a tulip glass Brabant pours pitch black with a finger of creamy tan head that coats the glass nicely.

S: Smells funky, has some wine notes with a bit of raisin as well.

T: Wow not quite what I expected, great sourness, good acidity, almost like a sour stout. Not as long of a finish as you often find with sours, could be due to the 2+ years on it.

M: Nice mouth-feel, doesn't coat the mouth as I'd have expected from the look of it.

O: Overall this is a great beer, glad I found it so long after it was released. I really enjoyed the complexity and as I'm drinking it I'm able to pick up a zinfandel (my favorite wine varietal) which I also am quite fond of.

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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 afausser
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Interesting: The first thing noticed is two fingers of bubbly, soapy head that's a tan sort of mocha color. Bubbles quickly subside though a nice consistent foam remains for a few minutes on the top. The brew itself is dark, but doesn't look particularly thick. It is, however, almost impenetrable and it is very hard to tell if the highlights are red, plum, or brown, even when held to the light.

Smell: Excellent. Oddly, a little hint of soap here, as well, which is really just an interesting complement to the style (haven't had a wild ale in a while and am very much looking forward to this review). Sour powder and sour fruit--mostly grapes and cherries--but the nose is light and the scents waft up even when the brew is set down. When agitated, strong granny smith apple and a hint of banana. Really very nice. Below the surface, some darker notes much like a good (though lighter) porter.

Taste: There is a ton of flavor here, but nothing too overwhelming, which is a strength and weakness all at once. Really, the bitter hoppy aftertaste is all I can knock it for. It's not particularly sour, either, as far as wild ales go, but I like SOUR beers way more than I would imagine the average reviewer. Lots of cherry notes as well as sweeter, juicier fruits, and a mild hint of sourness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nice mouthfeel. Drinks smoothly and the carbonation isn't overwhelming, though the bubbles that exist are pretty large, and if more predominant in the brew, would be unpleasantly foamy. As-is, they aren't, and work pretty nicely with the brew as a whole. I could imagine improvement here with smaller and more dominant bubbles, but this isn't bad at all.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable, not too sour (though I would have liked it a little more if it were) and not too thick. Nicely done for the style and ABV.

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Photo of jsanford
3.12/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC about a year ago. Bottled on 2/10/09, so this is a bit over 2 years old. Poured into my Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a dark brown with a thick head of ivory foam that hangs around for a bit, eventually receding to a thin ring and swirls of haze.
S - Wow, what a Brett-bomb! Tons of funky Brett aromas of horse, funk, and earth along with some dark malt, balsamic vinegar, dark berries, and red grapes. Nice and complex.
T - Whoa, this beer took an extreme 180-degree turn from the nose. I was expecting something tart and "winey", along the lines of Lost Abbey's Amazing Grace. Instead, I'm getting a dark, chocolate-y beer that, while definitely funky, has little to no tartness. The wood certainly comes out and imparts an unmistakable vinous quality, but I can't get over this kinda wet cigar flavor that I'm really not liking.
M - Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. I was really hoping for something lighter, with sharper carbonation.
D - Honestly, I'm struggling with this bottle. Perhaps it's just because I was in the mood for something different, but this isn't really doing it for me. Too bad, I really wanted to like this.

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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 Onenote81
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this bottle awhile ago at City Beverage. Have had it cellared since. Bottled on 2/10/09. Just a little over 2 years old. Poured into a tulip glass.

This pours much darker that I expected. I don't have much experience with Wild Ales, and even less with Barrel-Aged WAs, but this looks like a Porter. Super dark black with a thick 2-finger tan head. Decent retention; some lace sticks around. The nose is really fruity with notes of mashed apples, pears, faint strawberry. No funk noted. Still, I like it.

The mouth still retains quite a full feel. Carbonation doesn't seem to have dissipated over time. I didn't sample this one fresh, but I would imagine that the fruity tartness was more pronounced. This carries some fruity qualities, but no tartness. Again, some mushy apple, sweet pear, light cocoa and some mild oak notes from the barrel. It says this was a Zinfandel-barrel. This may have added the slight dryness I notice at the finish. All-in-all, I liked this beer, but I just expected a bit more from it. I may have sat on it too long, but alas. Not earth-shattering, but still a good beer that I would never turn down.

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Photo of grub
2.59/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle topped with gold foil. sampled feb 4/2011.

pours deep brown with a small cap of light brown head. drops fairly fast but leaves a bunch of lace.

aroma is okay. really buttery. lactic sourness. lemon. cider and malt vinegar. horse blanket and leather. slightly prickly alcohol. bit of dark chocolate. whole wheat bread. cracker. bit of grain.

taste is meh. malt vinegar. bit of dark chocolate. buttery burnt whole wheat bread. leather. bit of tobacco. light horse blanket. dirt. feet. rotted wood. alcohol. slightly sloventy. low bitterness level. this one seems to get worse with each sip.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. medium-low carbonation level. fairly dry finish.

drinkability is okay. the alcohol is present. the sourness/acidity is restrained, but there's a whole lot of "what the fuck" and less desirable traits. not even sure i'll finish my half of the bottle...

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

12 oz bottle, no idea where I picked this one up.

Pours a very hazy and opaque dark reddish brown, a bit of dark orange in the edges, thick tan head forms and slowly settles down to a thick ring around the glass and a medium layer, good lace chunks stick all over the glass.

Smell is interesting, very winey, lots of oak, sour/sweet, almost a molasses/cocoa powder thing going on, a lot of alcohol, dark fruit, cherry pits, sour hot chocolate, acetone, vinegar, candy bar, really weird and interesting.

Taste is very strange and fruity, raisin and cherries, a bit of caramel, cocoa, chocolate milk, lightly vinegary, booziness, more fruit, oak, a bit of vanilla, nougat, orange rind, kind of bitter and unpleasant in the finish, and keeps getting worse.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, almost too thick for the style, low to medium carbonation, some heat going down. Pretty interesting, not sure if all the aromas/flavours work for me.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Feb 10, 2009 bottled date. Thank you to Jon for the bottle!

(A)- Pours practically pitch black. Produced a large frothy tan colored head that stuck around for awhile. It is staying right around 1/2 an inch of froth for quite some time now. Minimal lace.

(S)- A lovely dry, yet acidic punch up front. Some mild yeasty earthy notes that primarily dominate the aroma. The back-end finish reveals some nice but subtle dark tart fruits like blackberry. Not overly sour, but earthy funk driven.

(T)- Similar to the smell in alot of ways. The sourness jabs at you initially, but still a primary earthy, yeasty funk. Very mildly acidic. The dark blackberry/plum fruits show up more that flows into a dry oaky cocoa component on the finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Definitely a more funk driven wild then sour, but both aspects are there. Nice tart yet rich fruits mesh well into it too. Smoother with the restrained acidity. Very dry and earthy.

(D)- A solid wild ale with alot of components I liked to see for the style. Mellow, lightly tart, and crisp. The dark fruits added a nice layer of rounded richness I enjoyed and appreciated. Definitely looking forward to Avery's other wilds!

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Photo of Neffbeer
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle marked Feb 10 2009, poured into a tulip.

A: Deep, dark mahogany/brown. Opaque, with a fluffy tan head. Decent head retention and lacing, but nothing spectacular. Very interesting color for a wild ale.

S: The sour notes appear first, plum and red grapes. Some berry notes are also present. There is an obvious malt presence, dark bread and chocolate. Wood and funk bring up the rear.

T: Not as sour as the nose would leave one to believe. Strong hay, barnyard with a blast of the fruit and wine barrel to finish. Interesting to say the least. It is very dry in the finish, inviting.

M: Full mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

D: While I am really enjoying this beer, it is clearly a one and done. It would be interesting to taste this offering with another year on it.

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Brabant from Avery Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 388 ratings.
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