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Sui Generis | Avery Brewing Company

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Sui GenerisSui Generis
109 Ratings
Sui GenerisSui Generis

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Oxymoron on 09-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of brian23456
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of WillyMac
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of photomike
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of hu5om
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Khazadum
4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lots of carb, tiny tight bubbles. Clear amber body. No lacing, no retention.

Smell of blueberry, BlackBerry, some light lactic and acetic acid nature. Grapes, light oak tannins.

Perfect tartness, cherries, raspberry. Finishes acetic.

Full bodied. Crisp. Light puckering. Great great great great. Amazing.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sui Generis meaning constituting a class of its own; unique.
This beer was made by mixing 10 different aged beers into one very tasty one. " Sui Generis is a truly unique ale fermented with brettanomyces, lactobacillus and pediococcus...yielding a beautifully intricate sour ale". 39% ale aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels, 35% ale aged in chardonnay barrels, 13% ale aged in port barrels, 13% ale aged in bourbon barrels. 10.2 % Alc.

Appearance: translucent golden amber with a pale white head that recedes as it warms. Real nice lacing

Smell: Sour green apple, peaches, grassy. Makes my mouth water getting ready for the pucker like a sweet tart

Taste: Just like the smell but there is almost no pucker at all. fills my mouth with huge flavor and then some how turns delicate and disappears with a very clean finish. There's no bitter beer face or dry mouth with this. I can't exactly taste the port or bourbon barrel but can only assume the sweetness from those ales even out the acidity.

Drinkability: I usually take 30 min to an hour to drink a sour beer even with food to pair but I couldn't put this beer down. I wanted to savor it more but my sips kept getting bigger. with only 147 cases made I'm glad i bought more than one

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Photo of awareness
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sui Generis is, quite simply, a one-of-a-kind work of art.

The bottle proclaims it to be a "barrel-aged sour ale", number two in Avery's barrel-aged series, which does nothing to suggest the rich glory of balanced flavor. The sour quality pushes the leading edge of its flavor envelope, carrying a wave of complexity which suggests tart green apples and hints at the yeasts which created it. It'll make your mouth think about puckering yet doesn't quite take it that far. The pleasantly long finish entices you back for the next sip, trying to guess what else you taste. One would never guess it packs a punch of 10.2% alcohol by volume.

Sui Generis is tart and tangy, yet mellow. (Once you taste it, your tongue will reconcile the apparent contradiction.) Its medium body and tintillating fizz lets it go down smoothly while you enjoy the flavor. This beer is made to sip and to prolong the experience.

I feel uniquely privileged to enjoy this beer and am thankful for the selfless generosity of my friend Holly for sending me a bottle from Colorado, the heartland of craft beer. Let's hope enough folks try it and distribution catches up!

If you are new to sour ales, don't try this one first--its perfection may well ruin the genre for you.

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Photo of Doodler
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Scotty M for sharing his stash with me. Seemed pretty pricey, but he picked up a sixer at the Avery limited release party. Had to look Sui Generis up on Wikipedia - it's Latin for "its own kind/genus or unique in its characteristics or an entity which cannot be included in a wider concept". That helps sum it up.

A - Hazy amber body, with medium bubbly off-white head.

S - A mixture of fresh fruit, musky port and beer soaked green apples. A complex aroma driven by the various barrel blends and yeasts.

T - The taste moves up as it warms, from slightly sour to half sweet. The finish is what I like in an aged sour - long and slightly tart with mild, but tangy fruit flavors.

M - Soft carbonation, balanced wood flavors and notes, with plenty of body.

D - Highly quaffable. Goes down too fast (left singing "We got the Funk") looking for another, but one is all I get. Glad I had the chance.

Picked up a few bottles of Brabant this month. Hope it can compare.

 979 characters

Photo of cnbrown313
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade from gn0sis, thanks Eric! Shared at our recent La Crosse sour tasting and split with friends:

A - Rich gold and amber. Creamy foam head. Great lacing and head retention.

S - Peaches, apricots and lemon. Nice mized wine flavors and funk. Just the slightest hint of bourbon.

T - Grapes, apples, cherries and strawberries. Great wine flavors. Oak and a bit of vanilla. Lemon and lime, sherry, port and just a feel of bourbon. Wonderful!

M - Creamy and sharp. Crisp and very well balanced. The carbonation is really well done here.

O - One of my favorite sours to date. This one is great in all aspects and just amazing how many flavors there are. I'd like a case of this. Worth trying a seeking out.

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Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of zeff80
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a very clear, caramel color with a small, thin, white head. It left soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled funky and sour, mostly apples and pears. A really nice aroma.

T - This was one of the most amazing sours that I've ever had. The tart sour flavor was really smooth. Sometimes a sour beer can be a little offensive, that's not the case with this one.

M - It was very sharp on the tongue. A crisp, medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a great sour beer. I don't know if I've said that enough times. Great, great brew.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a special beer when you realize the time and thought that went into it. The second of Avery's barrel aged series, it is a blend of beers aged in cabernet, chardonnay, port, and bourbon barrels. They also used brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus yeasts.

Bottled Sept. 18, 2009.

Served in a tulip glass, it pours a hazy redish copper color with a thin cap of head that settles quickly to just a skim layer.

Aroma is full of sour cherries and apples, tart berries, and funky yeasts. Very complex and enjoyable.

Flavor is equallly impressive with intensity and depth rarely seen outside of Russian River's wild ales. Also amazing considering how recently it was bottled although there is no indication of how long it has aged.

Tart and sour fruits combine with the unique combination of barrels to create a surprisingly unified beer. The cab and chard wines are evident and to lesser extent the port and bourbon. I don't think I would have picked them all out without a hint from the label but such is the power of suggestion. Sweet, sour, tart, bitter... are there any taste buds that haven't been touched on the tongue?

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well-carbonated. Drinkability is good but I doubt I could handle more than one bottle in a sitting.

The only other beer I've had that even compares is Consecration. Both deliver amazing hits of flavor intensity and complexity. It's hard to say which I prefer without doing a side-by-side but I consider myself lucky to have tried them both alone.

Overall a great success and further proof of how talented the people at that brewery really are.

 1,618 characters

Photo of champ103
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A huge thanks goes out to elWhite for the generous trade.

A: Pours a hazy orange/brown color. A two finger white head gently rises. The rocky foam has great retention. Plenty of sticky lace is left behind.
S: This is just amazing. Sour apples and pears up front. Tart and vinegary. Some grape tannin aromas. Funky barnyard aromas and yeast. Dry biscuit and crackers. This is incredibly rich and complex.
T: Sour and tart fruits up front. Apples, pear, and grape tannins with some vinegar. Funky barnyard flavors. Grassy, hay, and a lingering bitterness.
M/D: A medium body that has some prickly carbonation. Crisp and very dry. There is a ton of alcohol, but it is not noticeable. Really easy to sip on. One of those beers that I wish would never end.

Excellent is all I have to say. This is a great beer. A great example of what barrel aging and wild yeast can do. Maybe the closest example to the excellent traditional Belgian Lambics and Geuze that has been made in America.

 979 characters

Photo of seniorcleaver
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at the release party at Avery, and managed to get 6 bottles signed by Adam.
Light copper/amber appearence, white head with good lacing, sour smells of green apple, oak, and melon?, taste is first medium sour, then oaky, followed with a bit more tartness then a great clean finish. Slight hints of vanilla and grassy tones. There is alot going on with this beer!! Overall a great sour beer.

 399 characters

Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich woody brown with a creamy beige head. Excellent lacing around the glass.

Nose has tart cherries, barnyard funk, oak, chardonnay, cabernet, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon.

Taste has sour pitted fruits, musty funk, oak, red and white wine grapes, dark caramelized candies and a hint of whiskey.

Medium body has a crisp yet delicate carbonation. Nice dry finish.

Another well done sour from Avery. Not as good as some of their other blends, but still quite tasty.

 477 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle courtesy of a great CO trader, poured in to a tulip as I near my 1200th review.

Appearance: Pours a cherry pit rouge, hazily chilled sweet tea, Georgia-style, glassy and heat mirage-like with dissolved sugar. A pour of modest intensity at best caused a taupe head of mammoth proportions to burst forth, liberated from its 12 oz. prison, rising to a height of three and a half fingers tall. The rocky, dense monstrosity had remarkable staying power, courtesy of a plethora of effervescence. I may be overstating how zippy, fast, and plentiful the carbonation is, because it's all originating on the back of the "Bruery" logo on the side of my tulip - the single nucleation site may be concentrating the forces of the gassy, if you will, but either way, it's pretty breathtaking in appearance. What really brings it all together is the stick, though - crisp, snowy streaks of faintly off white ice cling adamantly to the sides of the tulip, and even successive sips do little to lessen their grip. Great color, great stick, great head, great bubble activity - what more do you want?

Aroma: Sweet and sour and spicy, this is one inviting brew. Cherries, dates, and raisins mingle with ruddy port and cabernet notes, and springy apples, pears, and nectarines mingle with lighter grape notes. The tartness here could be courtesy of the base beer, or it could be largely vinous in nature - I can't quite tell from the aroma as it stands - but it mingles well with an underlying roasted sweetness, bready, with hints of caramel and glassy toffee.

Taste: I didn't like it as much at first, but I'm really digging the complexity of this one now, particularly as it warms. First of all, this beer isn't about any one flavor aspect. It's an insanely robust beer that's all over the place in terms of flavors, light to dark, sweet to savory, tart to saccharine, bright to heavy. And while I at first thought that it was a bit of a mishmash and a jumble of flavors, I'm beginning to get a lot of interplay now that I didn't detect before.

First, the base beer. It's admittedly a little hard to tease it out, particularly because (at least, I think because) so many of its characteristics are augmented particularly well by the barrel aging. But what is obvious are some toffee and caramel malt notes, as well as a few dark and stone fruit notes. If I had to peg it to a style, I'd suggest that it was an Imperial Amber or light Belgian Dark Strong of some kind. The tartness on this one is fairly lactic, though there's a fair amount of funk dancing around in here - both interplay nicely with the other components here, the former with the fruit notes of the base beer (and wine additions) and the latter with the malts (and the spirit additions).

And ah, the barrels. The barrels! Understandably (based upon their respective percentages), the wine notes are stronger, and why shouldn't they be? This is a sour, and the tartness associated with wine is a perfect companion to the tartness imparted by wild yeast. I'll admit I find it a little difficult to tease apart the Chardonnay from the Cabernet, though that's likely the immaturity of my palate rather than the confusion of this brew - there is something here that tastes decidedly plummy that I can only assume is Cabernet, but also a (slightly stronger) quantity of grassy, herbal fruitiness, reminiscent of sour apples and pears. The port is perhaps the most noticeable spirit in attendance, contributing a tawny (note: is that adjective ever not used to describe port?) dried fruity presence suggestive of figs, spice, wood, smoke, and raisins - you can imagine which of these augment the tartness and maltiness of the base beer. And then the bourbon, largely lost in the scuffle here, but nonetheless bringing the slightest amount of sweetness and spice (and indeed, it is nice) to the party.

Mouthfeel: The softest, most delicate beer I've ever sipped, hands down. It doesn't sublimate off the tongue like a Belgian strong - it's literally a cloud from the moment it enters the mouth, floating in to the mouth, above the tongue, and then down the gullet smoothly, cleanly, and crisply. There's really not too much to say about it - just fantastic.

Drinkability: I was shocked to read that this was 10.2%. Sure, sours are good at covering up alcohol burn, but this beer isn't overwhelmingly or particularly sour, not to mention that the alcohol presence in barrel aged brews is typically enhanced, not subdued. But here I sit, dumbfounded at the smoothness and maturity of this brew. I'm not sure what makes it work as well as it does, but this one's my favorite of the (admittedly young) year thus far, and I truly hope it's one Avery brings back - it's the best beer they've ever made, in my opinion.

 4,775 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, ss-09, had no idea this was so highly regarded

39% aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels, 35% aged in chardonnay barrels, 13% aged in port barrels, 13% aged in bourbon barrels

bottled 9-18-09

appearance: gold foil bottle, poured into large delirium chalice, murky body, muddy orane, bubbly beige foam

smell: tart, gold apple, oak, chardonnay, funky brett, peach, mango, sugar

taste: pretty incredible beer - the barrel aging provides some pretty intense complexity. initially i felt more chardonnay than cabernet, but then came the waves of cabernet grape - superb. very oaky, tart/sour, sour golden apple, sour cherry. each sip is an adventure

mouthfeel: commanding, tongue turning, could forget this one was 10.2% if you weren't careful

drinkability: good

 774 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated 9/18/09 into a tulip and shared with schen9303.

A: Pours a dense, 4 finger pinkish-cream head that never seemed to dissipate. Beer is a cloudy, tinted reddish-clay. Lacing is patchy and thick with great legs.

S: Nose is oaky, subtley sweet cherry, slightly vinegary, wood, and vanilla in the back. Not the most aromatic but pleasant with a characteristically wild smell.

T: Cherry, raspberry, cranberry dry and tartness. Great balance between the sour and fruitiness. Sweet vinegar and oaky vanilla develops as the brew warms. Dry, acrid finish with a slightly bitter, yeasty aftertaste that lingers.

M: Light to medium bodied, highly carbonated, dry, and very smooth. Lively tart with a dry and a bit powdery finish. Aftertaste is filmy and oily.

D: I, for the most part, haven't been a big fan of the Avery Bal-aged series. That being said, this beer absolutely blows my mind!! A near perfect mouthfeel with great complexity and balance in the flavor. Absolutely delightful and I'm sure to search this one out again!!

 1,098 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Photekut
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of np0x
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really interesting wild ale, the body is maintained even with the bug farm working in there, the flavors from the cabernet barrel in particular were striking, coming through unmistakable grapiness. The sour flavors, and the barrel characters will all melding nicely together. Some more sourness would haven't bothered me, but altogether an amazing and interesting, complex mix of the blended sour beers.

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Sui Generis from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 109 ratings
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