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 DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a bottle of this in a recent trade with rye726. Thanks, Ryan! Into my RR -tion tulip. Bottled 18 Sept 2009, consumed 27 April 2010

The pour is mildly hazy copper with a large off-white head with excellent retention and intricate lacework. This is particularly impressive given that this is a 10+% sour.

The nose is excellent. Buttery chardonnay reminiscent of Temptation and big, fruity red wine character with cherries earth, leather, this smells great. Mildly tart, there's a touch of lemony/citrus sourness to go with a rather grassy, hay-like Brett funk.Some dark fruit is noticeable, probably from the port-barrel? The contribution of bourbon isn't particularly noticeable here, maybe just some coconut that works well with the tartness. Alcohol is noticeable, lending a spiciness that when combined with the woody character makes for a very interesting aroma. This is one of the better smelling beers I've had recently.

As with the Brabant, the palate doesn't seem to be as well integrated and not realizing the potential that the nose suggested. Opening with a pronounced sourness that's a blend of some lemon and some acetic character, there's a certain sharpness and zing to this that's enhanced by the high carbonation, resulting in a carbonic acid-like character. Plenty of fruity tartness is present as well, with cherries, some peach. Moderate grassy character is present working well with the grape skin tannins. Drying and quite tannic on the finish (though not as tannic as the Brabant), this beer is quite excellent. I also get a slight boozy character. Medium-light in body with high carbonation, this beer is very enjoyable and I'm thankful for the chance to have tried it.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bottle into Snifter glass.

Pours a slightly hazy bronze color with a frothy finger of off-white head that remains a nice layer atop the glass. The aroma is sour dark fruit, vanilla, slight funk, lemon and lots more just not finding the right words but simply put delicious. The flavor sour fruit, bitter orange peel, oak, bourbon, leather. Its medium bodied with a fizzy carbonation and finishes slightly dry. There is a lot going on in this beer. The aroma is amazing and is the most quaffable beer of my most recent memory. The flavor was extremely complex and my words won't do it justice even for my own-sake. I found this very enjoyable.

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Photo of caresville
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

split bottle with PaulMPap the other night during a little sour tasting we had, i was hoping for another solid beer from avery and thats exactly what i got.

a- pours a deep dark sunset orange that fades to a light brown almost like a sugared up tea, no real lacing and good carbonation.

s- very interesting to say the least. not too strong on the funky, sour side but heavily pulling towards charcoal, smoke, and oakyness. quite obvious the smell it took after the barrels it was aged in more than the beer itself.

t&m- no surprise here after just taking a whiff of this thing. hints of tropical sour fruits, some lemons, maybe raspberries, grass clippings, hay and straw. making this beer so unique is the consistent taste of bourbon and whiskey on the palate while still getting that funky yet fresh really sour taste.

d- i had to drop a point or so for drinkability because i only split this little bottle with a friend and i was babying this beer the whole time because it tasted to strong and different. great beer to experience atleast once though!!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally I get to try this one, seems like it took me forever to track one down, but well worth the wait! Served chilled and poured into a fluted snifter, this one was consumed on 03/30/2010.

The pour was near perfect for the style with a deep orange amber that was nearly clouded over with haze. Nice tight head of a finger in height rises up and settles across the top with gorgeous swirls of lacing across the sides of the glass. First whiff seems a bit light to be honest, light funk, sour notes, pears, and hints of malts starting to come though. No alcohol present at all and the sour seems very understated at this point. The forst sip totally redeems it though as the sour fruits and oak notes start to perk up. Nice touches of grapeskins, sour, sour grapefruit like flavors rip through the palate. Dark fruits, prunes, hints of vanilla and light notes of brown sugar can be picked up through the haze of barnyard funk. Rich medium body is more then well carbonated and really lets the flavor pop across the palate. Final sips are dy, vinegar rich and full of apple and pear back flavors.

Overall a fantastic sour. Very underated as I honestly think it goes up there with the big boys. Very, very well done. Please send me more.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.

Pours a murky orangish-brown color with a white head. The aroma is tart lemons. The flavor is tart lemons with some oak-aged character. The beer finishes very dry. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from JMBSH. A great sour ale, not too sour but certainly giving my palate a workout. Bottled September 2009. Body is cloudy grapefruit, topped by enormous level of white bubbly foam. Nose of funk but mainly also rich vinous aromas, and certainly more of the latter after airing out for a while. Mouthfeel is yes sour but also near creamy. Lemon, vinegar, and brettish flavours. To be sipped and enjoyed.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazy copper/caramel body with visible yeast. Modest white head, nice lacing.

The aroma is straight up wild ale. Cider vinegar, tart cherry and raspberry. Caramel, oak, bourbon, shock tarts, grapefruit, peach, green apple, brett, vinegar, tart cider, and a dry finish. Sour yes, but it also has that mouth watering malic acid that many sours posses.

Alcohol is a real creeper with this one. Sneaky!

Big thanks to Ratman for hooking me up with this bottle. One of the downsides of Avery's sour program is the tiny production. It doesn't help that over 80% of the production is sold outside of Colorado. I feel lucky just to get a hold of a bottle and now that I have tried it, I feel even more privileged. Thanks again!

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Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thin off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mildly aggressive sourness with a little more malt character than most wild ales. The taste is much the same. It's not a mouth-puckering sour, but more of a mild tartness that adds a nice bit of complexity to a malt centric beer. The malt bill doesn't seem overly complex; mostly pale, wheat, maybe some light 10l-20l crystal malts. Because it's less sour than say Beatification form Russian River, it's more drinkable, even at 10.2% abv. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. The drinkability is very good. It's a sour beer that you can have a few of without getting sick of the sourness.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge, long time want, finally got some.

Beer is mostly clear, a little reddish dark with a white head that falls away leaving a broken thin head and no lacing. Carbonation moderate to low.

The aroma is a mixture of funk and sweet. With the up first and funk batting clean-up. Smells awesome.

First, drinkability is really high, especially considering that the beer is 10+%. The order of the sour flavors as far as I can tell are acetic, citric, lactic with the dominant being citric. Its bright and clean tasting, lots of carbonation in the mouth. Awesome.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a tasting glass at NoTB.

The beer pours a medium clearish tea with a light white head not rising very much or with much lacing.

The aroma is super light, can barely pull anything out of it. There is some light horse blanket.

The taste to me is a little blah. There is some light horse blanket, and a little oak at the end. It finishes bitter wood, which isn't great.

The feel is ok, drinkability is a little limited.

Overall, this is an average wild ale. Its no overly complex, balanced or flavorfull. It needs to be more pronononced.

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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

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Photo of craytonic
3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 2" head, large bubbles, little retention or lacing

Smell: Subdued and muted, a bit of funk but very fain. Some cherries, dates, and green apples as well

Taste: Again, very subdued and muted as compared to others of the style; very light funk. Neither as tart or sour as expected. Darker fruits make a showing with red cherries, raspberries and dates. Also a bit of leather, earth, and oak. Also a cabernet sauvignon wine element.

Mouthfeel: Light

Drinkability: Very drinkable, particularly given the suprisingly high ABV. 12oz is a bit small for this one however, and the entire experience is a bit muted. I guess it is a good sours for those who do not like sours.

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Photo of nickd717
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, shared with HopHead84, alfrantzell, and Nick3...and my girlfriend (Beek on BA) took a sip or two.

Pours a hazy amber color with a small white head leaving some foam on top, with good lacing.

Aroma is funk, malt, red wine, wood, bourbon, and sour apple.

Flavor is great and complex with funk, leather, bleu cheese, red wine, oak, bretty and lactic tartness.

Medium bodied with average acidity for a sour.

Drinkability is high. Overall very good and interesting.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Bottle purchased at Beachwood BBQ, split with Nickd717, alfrantzell, and Nick3, and poured into a snifter. The beer is dark orange with a small white head and scattered lacing.

The nose is lightly tart and of ripe and crisp golden apples, chardonnay, dark grapes, tannins, wood, and light lactic notes. The fruit stands out, and there's a dash of acetaldehyde.

The flavor is slighty tart, with notes of ripe Granny Smith apples, chardonnay, and cabernet grapes. There's a slight buttery oak quality, and lactic character is at a low level. The mouthfeel is dry and the tartness is restrained, but this is a very enjoyable beer overall. The alcohol is well hidden, and the combination of the various barrels creates an interesting final product.

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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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Photo of corby112
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark mahogany/coppery ruby color with blood red ruby edged when held to a light source and a frothy, creamy off white head that has a pinkish tint. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring.

Sweet vinous aroma that is pretty funky with lots of bugs and dry brett effervescence. Plenty of dark fruit, especially grape, plum, tart cherry and raisin. There's also a nice earthy oak presence with subtle vanilla and a huge vinous wine presence. I'm also picking up some lactic funkiness/barnyard horseblanket.

Pretty tart and puckering up front with a subtle acidic character that is followed by some earthy barnyard funkiness and a sweet vinegary vinous presence. There is a slight earthy oaky tannis character and the flavor is really dominated by the vinous character from the wine and liquor barrels. This beer is very complex with a lot of flavors bouncing off of one another. I'm surprised how funky this beer is and the tart/puckering sour component isn't too harsh yet lingers throughout over the sweet vinous, oaky tannis flavors. Chewy medium body with a good bit of dark fruit, especially grape and sour dark cherry. There's also a good bit of lactic creaminess that adds to the fullness of the body. The sweet vinegary vinous character lingers long after the slightly dry finish.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened by Eric (EricSTL6) at our STL Hops tasting. Muchas gracias!

A - Pours a light brown with a off-white colored head which disipiates into a thin ring around the glass.

S - A nice light to medium amount of funk, sour green apples, slight barnyard. It really has some sour notes to it, but not super sour like other wilds.

T - A nice medium funk/tart notes, green apples, barnyard notes, sweet fruit. Very mellow, yet very good.

M - Light, champagne-esk, dry finish.

D - I couldn't get enough of this stuff. I had several pours out of the two bottles. One of my favorite beers of the night and my favorite Avery beer to date.

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Photo of tpd975
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big Thanks to SeaBass for sharing this one as a start up for the two of us before my epic tasting.

A: Nice slightly golden hue with a nice tall white head. The head dies to a solid ring and lingers for the duration. Tons of lace as well.

S: Nice wild notes with notes of sweet tarts. Notes of fine white wine and oak.

T: Very tasty beer, much much better than Brabant. Very wine like with strong notes of oak. There is a underlying fruit component with a light tartness.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Great carbonation, crisp, dry finish.

D: Great, a very fine example of the style.

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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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to d0b for cracking this one out. Served in a La Chouffe tulip glass.

A - Pours with a finger of light tan foam that dissipates to a huge ring with big bubbles. A sheen of haze lingers for quite a while, and there are copious splotches of lace. Apple cider color that is hazier the one gets into the bottle. For a 10% wild this is pretty good looking stuff.

S - This is really unique and unusual - the name of Sui Generis is quite appropriate. There's some notes of barrel, bourbon, earthiness, a little bit of booziness, sour apple, and a really odd spice that I can't quite place. The alcohol is a little higher than I like, but otherwise the strange collection of smells is well-integrated.

T - The taste is more in the line with traditional wild ales. There's some berry fruitiness, Cabernet and port notes, some light vanilla flavor, and very well-hidden booze. Not super funky or sour, but deep and complex with well-balanced elements.

M - Soft texture with minimal heat. Lower carbonation, creamy medium body, dry and clean finish. I really dig the texture on this one. There's a bit of mounting warmth as I approach the end of my glass.

D - For a 10% wild ale this is pretty easy drinking. I can feel the booze creeping up, but it tastes great and goes down quick. Best beer I've ever had from Avery.

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Photo of mikey711
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #200, so I thought I would do something a little special, even though I almost lost my eye opening the bottle. Received from Rye726

A: Its a murky brown, almost like apple cider that pours about a quarter inch of off white head that is fluffy, almost like krausen, but does not hold. A fine layer of foam does remain on top and leaves nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: There are alot of smells going on and I am bound to miss some. Its a great blend of sweetness and sour. The sweet is fruity with grapes raspberries blueberrys and peaches. The sour is slightly bretty with a hint of funky earthiness. Also, there is a very nice tannic wood note and the cab sav barrel its very prominant, while the chardonnay gives off a dryness

T: What is most impressive out this beer is how present the various barrels can be tasted. THe tannins from the Cab sav,, the dry oakiness from the chardonnay, the sweetness from the port and the heat from the bourbon. They are all separate flavors that blend nicely. There is a heavy grape presence in the beer and lots of funk going on. The complexity of this beer and fantastic

M: It is very dry, and there is just the slightest bit of heat, but the alcohol is beneficial. Each sip is a little bit different likely do to the various barrels.

D: Well it is a sour and I would not like to have more than the 12oz I am enjoying for the night. I found I enjoyed this a bit more on the cold side as the sourness was very intense as the beer warmed. This is definitely something I would like to try again in the future and I wonder what some age would do to this treat

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Photo of heliosphann
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle provided by fellow BA infestaxion. Served in a tulip.

A: Head is minimal at best, leaving a very thin ring around the edge of my tulip. Pours a nice caramel color. Looks very much like an IPA. Some dainty lacing dissipates quickly.

S: Vinous overtones battle a good amount of wood. Apple, pear and apricots also in the mix. There's some funk present as well, but not too strong. I'm also getting a slight amount of alcohol.

T: Muted white and red grapes with some lighter fruits like apricot and kumquat. The blend of the different barrels definitely provides some funky wood tannins, with some noticeable clashing in a good way. Sweet notes with hints of vanilla, but not too sweet. The sourness kicks in on the finish, which is quite dry. There's slight amount of heat, but it doesn't really detract from the beer overall. Pretty complex and very tasty.

M: Medium bodied, if not a little thicker. Carbonation is very low, but it works fine with the style.

D: The 6oz I had went pretty quick. A full bottle is easily consumable, with the 10% ABV being one of the only drawbacks.

Avery really stepped up after the somewhat disappointing Brabant. Sui Generis is an oustanding American Wild Ale and a very unique one at that. I think this beer will age very well and I'm looking forward to trying one several years down the road.

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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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Schmittymack, cheers Dan!

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 3 fingers of rocky tan head. Great head retention & tons of ivory flecked lacing dot the the glass

S: Barnyard funk & plenty of horse blanket, sour apples; fades a bit once warm, not too much

T: Tart & twangy with apples, raspberry vinaigrette & sour cherries up front. Oaky dryness, sourness & tartness dominate as this warms, along with leather & raspberries, a little booze lingers around the edge, actually benefits the flavor profile. I also pick up some figgy & Bing cherry sweetness right on the edges, sneaking by the sourness every once in a while, plus big-time port notes. Finishes puckery dry & tart with with some nice cherry sweetness balancing it out & a whisper of booze

MF: Medium bodied with slight carbonation & so puckery

Drinks very easy for the style & ABV. I appreciate the smaller size too, 750 ml of sour sometime overwhelms me, are you listening Russian River??? Almost on a par with RR IMO, well done Avery!

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