Avery Brewing Company

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Stout - American Imperial
4.33 | pDev: 9.47%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 80 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

i dont know how age is supposed to affect a beer like this. fruited beers generally drink best when fresh, big stouts usually a little age. this one has lost a lot of its cherry intensity, if it ever had any, just very subtle fruit notes remain. huge density, deep brown color, splashy little head that settles back. the nose doesnt have much cherry at all, instead sweet hot cocoa and bitter burnt barley malt present themselves. alcohol is very well hidden for its strength. the taste has only minimal cherry, and its all in the finish. not much tartness at all, which i was expecting since sour cherries were denoted. i would like to have had this fresh to compare. i like it quite a lot as a big stout, but as a cherry stout it underwhelmed. smooth feel though, and not as thick drinking as it looked on the pour. long finish to this, and when i really focus in i can get some of that cherry, but its way back. i have loved this series, but this one didnt hold up to oud floris or some of the other gems.

Jan 02, 2014
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drabmuh from Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer drinks like a chocolate cherry sour. Beer is dark brown to black with a tan head, small bubbles. No retention, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is sour with cherries and this faint chocolate in the nose.

Beer is nice and sweet with this tartness on the finish, odd sour notes late on the palate and dryness that gives rise to a mild aftertaste. Not a great beer but not horrid.

Dec 05, 2012
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4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2011)

Adam Avery's First Barrel-Aged Dinner
Stone Brew co.
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 1.5 years)

Nearly black in color with a small to moderately sized dark brown head, eventually leaving spots of lacing down the glass.

Rich complex aroma, unlike anything I've ever experienced before in a beer: big notes of wood, chocolate, roast, and juicy, plump cherries. I was expecting more of an acidic or sour character, but there's perhaps only the slightest hint of one.

The flavor, too, is interesting, unique, rich, and delicious. The roast, dark malts, vanilla, cherry, and wood flavors combine into a marvelously drinkable while complex fruit stout. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden

Medium to full bodied with low-moderate carbonation.

Perhaps my favorite Avery beer to date.

Sep 04, 2012
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jsanford from Georgia

3.54/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark mahogany with a reddish tint and thin ivory ring. Great aromas of chocolate, cherry, oak, and booze. Someone in my tasting group remarked "Cherry Tootsie Roll Pop", and I think that's pretty accurate. Taste is similar, with more cherry, chocolate, dark malt, and a slight tartness. Smooth and surprisingly easy-drinking given the high ABV, with a medium-full body and decent carbonation. Overall a unique beer, But not something I'd seek out again.

Jul 23, 2012
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Spider889 from Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the brewery on 9/28/11.

They only allowed their bigger beers to be served in mini snifters for whatever reason, but I wound up getting a pour of this on two separate visits. Sorry Kef, but this beer is fucking delicious.

A - Black and fairly thick for such high abv and being barrel aged. The head is a very dark mocha color. Light smears of lace cling to the glass.

S - The aroma is immediately of chocolate fudge with a nice roasty malt finish. There's some nice vanilla coming off the barrel as well.

T - Everything up to this point in this beer is solid to say the least. But from my very first sip I knew that this beer was something special. I tend not to buy into the craze over super-high abv in beers and due to the incensed reaction some were having over the price of this beer when the bottles were sold I was all geared up to dislike Margarete. That said, I am happy to admit I was way off - what a delicious beer!

The barreling does wonders for this beer. Sweet and roasty chocolate fudge is sumptuous. The cherry isn't huge, but I can taste tart cherry skins on the finish. After warming a ripe black cherry flavor grows into the beer. The cherry is an excellent compliment to the barrel.

M - Waves of hot and lovely bourbon wash in for the aftertaste. Medium bodied and sticky. Definitely full of alcohol warmth, yet never overly boozy.

O - I was extremely impressed with Margarette. I'd love to try a bottle a year or two down the road to see how this beer ages.

Jun 12, 2012
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.6/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a scant ¼-finger thick, light brown colored head. The beer is a dark, almost perfectly black color, that is quite opaque when held up to the light. The beer smells of up front tart cherries, that quickly subsumes underneath rich chocolate liquor notes (along with the warming alcohol notes), lots of smooth roasted dark malt, umami laden, almost teriyaki-like concentrated malt character, toasted brown grain notes, notes of smoky Bourbon like aromas, coconut liquor and then in the finish another light, but noticeable tart cherry character.

The beer is fairly sweet, though not as thick as it might have seemed. The sweetness accentuates a fruity cherry note, but this is dried out a fair amount in the finish by a burnt, roasted, bitter blackened malt notes, though it doesn’t quite beat out the sweetness. While this is lighter than it perhaps seems like it could be for a beer of this strength, it is still most definitely a sipping beer. A rich, umami-leaning, concentrated malt character contributes notes of smoked malt, slight teriyaki notes and even some balsamic like richness (but without the acetic character). The Bourbon barrel here isn’t very intrusive, in fact it plays a clearly supporting role; it provides some background woody structure that provides some astringency in the finish and a light woody note; a Bourbon spiciness that is a little peppery but mostly like spicy oak, some Bourbon heat (much of which is accentuated by the base alcohol in the beer) and some fruity Bourbon notes. Lots of bitterness (roast), and astringency from the oak comes out as it warms.

I wasn’t expecting a beer this big, for some reason I was expecting a funky / sour beer, but this is clearly not one of those. Still this isn’t nearly as bad as I might have expected, given that most of Avery’s huge beers don’t appeal to me. The rich chocolate notes pair well with the rich, sort of smoky and umami like concentrated malt, supporting fruity cherry notes, and light Bourbon character. This does walk a fine line between being a bit too hot and being smooth.

Feb 18, 2012
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largadeer from California

3.43/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks, Andrew.

Dark opaque brown with a thin tan head that recedes to a collar.

Very, very sweet. Tar, brown sugar, bourbon -bals, asphalt. A hint of cherry, but not much, along with a pinch of vanilla. The malt character here reminds me a lot of Avery's other monster imperial stout, Mephistopheles. Very sugary and tar-like, not my favorite take on the style.

The palate is pretty good. Extremely sugary, a brown sugar sort of quality backed by blackened asphalt. Full bodied, chocolatey, fairly pleasant cherry sourness. Extremely sweet, the sugar balances the charred, tarry malt, but the combination of the two extremes is a bit much for me. Little cherry tartness and tannin in the finish that lends some balance. It's a fairly enjoyable beer overall, but not a great one.

Jan 23, 2012
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cosmicevan from New York

4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thank you to both 2beerornot2beer as well as biglobo8971 for sending this gem my way. bottled jan 8, 2011 (just over a year ago).

a - opened the bottle and filled my southampton IRS oversized snifter...poured a watery black that settled dark as night with a creamy white colored head that bubbled away quickly leaving spotty lacing. swirling the glass rebuilds and brings things to life.

s - deep rich indulgent chocolate with a glazing of booze. YUM. 5 out of 5...damn good smelling.

t - much like the nose, indulgent booze soaked chocolate. but the expensive stuff, not that cheap bakers chocolate or cocoa powder...this is godiva. as it warms, the sour cherries really start to show up. it just works. fantastic. chocolate, booze, sour cherries...heaven in a bottle.

m - rich and lush. incredible body and feel. the booze is strong but it works like magic. this one just works.

o - overall, i'm impressed. this beer is incredible. the 15+% is there, but feels like 8 or 9...really well integrated. this is indulgent. ISO this beer. fantastic.

Jan 11, 2012
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton to dfclav for this one. Had at the Stouts and Spiders tasting thanks to Mike.

Pours almost no head with a syrupy dark black colored beer.

Nose is loaded with chocolate, dark malts, syrupy, booze, chocolate covered cherries, hint of tart cherry and sour like fruit.

Taste is really nice, sweet, tart cherry flavor, syrupy malts, chocolate like crazy! cocoa powder, again with the chocolate covered cherries, a slight medicinal cough syrup that fades as the beer goes. A nice bolotin cherry flavor, and hint of oak and vanilla. The comes some molasses, a slight warming cinnamon like taste, touch of fruity nutty dried fig, hint of tart cherry on the finish with a bit of roast, ash, a long chocolate flavored finish, cocoa, dark chocolate, and a bit of booze but not nearly 15+%.

Mouth is syrupy and heavy bodied, lower carb, some warming booze, charred barrel as well as lusciousness.

Overall great, really nice chocolate flavors, tart cherry, fruits, oak and vanilla, molasses, lots of great flavors on this big beer that drinks more like 8-9% instead of 15%.

Oct 21, 2011
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dfclav from New Jersey

4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at the first, and hopefully last (only for the arachnids) stouts with spiders tasting with jlindros and my cousin. This beer was sampled among with other stouts and I think it was everyone's highlight of the night.

A - extremely dark brown, basically black with a small tan short lived head. Oily lacing all over the glass gave it a used motor oil appearance. This is a big stout.

S - The barrel aging is very noticeable on this one. Huge on chocolate and cherries. Also big on vanilla and oak. Bourbon isn't very noticed, but it compliments the complexity very well.

T - The barrel aging was done so well here as it's noticed throughout. Very nice juicy sour cherry notes and plenty of ash. I cannot believe this is 15% as it drinks more like a 9 or 10%. As the beer warms vanilla and bourbon become more prominent and lend to the cherry and barrel so well. This is a masterpiece of a barrel aged beer and so delicious.

M - heavily bodied and silky smooth on the palate with a small bit of prickly carbonation. The cherry flavor, which never went to medicinal, laid on the tongue and left me amazed. So complex. I never wanted this beer to end. 

O - This was such a treat. I am so happy to have another bottle, but I will trade for this if given another chance in a heartbeat. An absolute must try. Thank you so much for making this, Avery.

Oct 11, 2011
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AgentZero from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kudos to spycow for sharing this to finish up the UFC 134 evening.

A - Almost black beer with a brown head that faded to a solid ring. Left some random spots on the sides.

S - This smells great. Fantastic cherries and chocolate hit the nose immediately. Great oak, touch of smoke, just a touch of bourbon.

T - Taste is just as fantastic as the nose. Bourbon is barely there, but a nice compliment. Sour cherries, chocolate, oak. Alcohol is dangerously hidden.

M - Not quite full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - I loved this beer. The combination of cherries and chocolate with the subtle bourbon really works. Didn't know Avery was capable of something this good, but I'd love to get some more.

Sep 04, 2011
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DarthKostrizer from California

3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Black with brown ring at the top 1/4 inch head and no retention

Smell: Bourbon chocolate coffee oak and hints of vanilla

Taste: Bourbon upfront and very powerful that is a accompanied by a overpowering sweetness. Finishes with a nice chocolately deliciousness. The beers real flavors come out as the beer warms

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and very silky and oily

Overall: The beer has some very overpowering flavors and I'm sure that that is a good thing. Very malty and bourbony. I would recommend a try but be warned you might not like what you are getting yourself into

Aug 25, 2011
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chefmikeanderson from Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours super dark as expected. Nice dark head that goes down to just a thin layer on top and a ring around. A nice slight bit of lacing covering the glass.

S: smells like a big boy stout roast like its going to be huge which it should be at 15%. A nice bit of cherry pie going on in the background. There's some spice in there I can't quite explain. Maybe a gingerbread or carrot cake to it maybe some flavors from the bourbon barrel

T: very smooth for the abv. Starts with smooth roast and then has that ginger spice note to it and then finish with a burnt cherry pie. After a few sips the cherries really become dominate but the roast and sweetness competes and balances and gives such an original taste. Haven't come across anything like this in a very good unique way

M: just enough carbonation to not let it be to sweet. A little slick mouthfeel as well. covers my whole palate so well

O: this is beer is simply unique. For a 15% beer this is amazingly smooth and delicious even compared to other avery beers in the same range. I could have this beer for breakfast or as a night cap 3 times a week and be yearning for it the other 4. Very very exceptional flavor and smoothness for what this beer is. Very well done

Jul 24, 2011
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jrallen34 from Illinois

4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown, almost black, a light tan ring... malt forward nose, decadent chocolate, subtle bourbon, a little oak, not getting any cherries not the crazy amount of alcohol, 15!.. tons going on here, dark chocolate on the front, the bourbon is gone and there is a nice tart cherry bite on the back, really nice, again no alcohol, this tastes great, I hope this is what Veritas 009 is like... get this, one of the best Avery beers hands down

Jun 09, 2011
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened this to share with javib458 while he was in town when I saw it on his wants. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Pours with a half-finger of dark tan foam that settles to a thick collar, wisps on top, and a bit of spotty lace. Black body with some dark brown at the fringes.

S - Bourbon, chocolate, sour cherry, earthy wood, oak, and light smoke. Alcohol is very well-hidden - I would have guessed 10-11% or so.

T - The taste is heavier on the sour cherries and chocolate, although there's still a significant amount of bourbon flavor. Oak is more restrained, and alcohol is well-hidden.

M - Body is actually a bit lighter than I expected for a 15.43% -bal aged stout. Still, it's definitely on the medium-full side of things. Lower carbonation, and some tannic fruit and oak character in the finish.

D - This beer didn't blow me away, but it's a well-crafted offering with a nice collection of flavors that are well-balanced and integrated, well-hidden alcohol, and a pleasant smooth texture. If you're into big dessert beers this is a must-try - I'd like to get another shot at this one, as 6oz seemed insufficient.

May 19, 2011
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emmasdad from Colorado

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a handful of these at the release party, and after sampling it that night, I found no reason to drink one of my bottles. Finally, I got around to it. Poured a deep, rich black, with a little light brown head. Aromas of bourbon, plums, pie cherries and roasted malt. On the palate, this one is thick and rich, with flavors of dark chocolate, plums, bourbon, oak, cherries and booze. Very good.

May 11, 2011
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FoxiBoxi from Florida

4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just got this in from our fantastic friends in Colorado.
Pours a deep brown, with great lacing and a strong malty, boozy, wood nose.
This beer reminds me an old fashioned chocolate malt with a few cherries on top. You get a very slight cherry flavor, and the alcohol is there but not overpowering. Milk chocolate flavors, heady malts, and minimal pucker. The oak flavors are distant.
With the alcohol level this high, I was surprised at how well everything melded so early on. I drank it young, and think this beer will cellar to perfection. Putting the other one down for a year or two.
Avery has done it again - this is a great beer.

May 06, 2011
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.89/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this was by far the highlight of my weekend. i had been waiting for the right time to open this one and last night it just hit the spot. served at cellar temp into hill farmstead stemware, this was consumed on 4/23/11

the pour was a dark mahognay color with a rich reddish tint around the edges of the glass. really very nice dark look to it with a minimal head and no apparent lacing, but menacing it looked from the start.

aroma was what dreams are made of. dark bourbon notes, cherries, oak, vanilla, deep chocolate and roasted malts, it really could not get any better. warming up to room temperature just made it all the better with a tremedously rich profile that really just could not be beat at this point. utterly fantastic. each sip was like silken flavor of the gods. melting cherry and chocolate, with vanilla, oak, bourbon, to a level of perfection seldom ever seen among beers. the finish was everything i had wanted and more as the subtle tart cherries left a twang on the tongue that was balanced perfectly with a smooth vanilla and oak aftetaste.

overall i can easily say this was one of the best beers i have ever had. top notch in every sense of the word and something i cannot even fathom improving on.

Apr 25, 2011
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readbaron from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours our very dark with a nice tan head

S - Smells great, sweet bing cherry (hardly any tartness at all), roasty malty chocolaty stout odors, and a healthy splash of bourbon.

T - Delicious, much like it smells, a nice blend of sweetness, bourbon and stout. It's nice to have a cherry stout that isn't overly sour. This one does a good job of blending in the cherry flavors. Very boozy - you can tell that it's got a high abv - but it's not overly hot.

M - Thick and creamy. Very nice.

O - Tasty brew. I wish I had more of this one.

Apr 15, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours near black with a thin light tan head. Not too much retention, eventually fading to a thin collar around the edges of my glass. The nose is really nice from the start, with some of the base beer showing off notes of roasted malt and a bit of coffee. From there, the cherries and barrel-aging are quite apparent, taking over and blending in quite well. The flavor isn't quite as powerful and integrated as the nose, but contains the same components. The cherry tartness and barrel-aging really do some nice things here, and combine for a wondrous mouthfeel. Simply unbelievable that this beer is 15.43%--there's really not much of a hint of booze at all. It's times like these when I really wish I lived closer to Avery and could grab bottles from these small-batch releases.

Apr 13, 2011
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MbpBugeye from Ohio

3.21/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thick black. This stuff tried to sludge up the sides of my glass as I swirled. I was able to get a very small head the color of tan leather.

Kinda weird, especially since I didn't know this was some sort of sour cherry stout. The aroma was very potent. Big heavy weight alcohol and licorice, not too far from a shot of Jagermeister. The sour cherry notes lend a cough syrup aroma to it that I wasn't expecting.

Very burnt and aggressive. Charcoal and ash with a ton of licorice. Licorice of both colors, red for the cherries and black for the anise. There is a lot of dark fruit that mingles too that comes across as being very tart. Again, I didn't know this was supposed to be a sour type of stout so the tart fruitiness seemed strange at first. Dark coffee rounds things out.

Very full bodied and VERY, VERY hot. The finish is dry with a cocoa powdery feel.

Apr 04, 2011
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle graciously shared by normyk (thanks Rob!) at a Jackie O's tasting. One 12oz bottle split about 6 ways, to my shame this is based on a roughly 2oz pour. But I was very happy to get a chance at it.

The beer was dark brown to the point of black, thin tan head. The bourbon in the aroma is very subdued, but the cherries and malts are not. Chocolate malts plus roasted malts, with the cherries smelling a little sour.

The sour edge is there in the taste too, but just barely. Mostly this is a rich malty stout, the cherries and bourbon just add to that. Thick and chewy, 2oz is nowhere near enough (admittedly) but I don't know that I'll get the chance again. If I do I'll pounce on it!

Mar 26, 2011
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Urbancaver from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks normyk for this one!

Pours very dark almost black. A bit of light brown head that hangs around. Smells sweet and chocolatey. Lots of cherry on the nose. Tastes great! Tart cherries and lots of chocolate malts. Vry dry but tasty. The cherry is potent and overpowering. Lot sof roasted malls. Dries the mouth but feels great on the pallette. Overall very tasty

Mar 19, 2011
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KickInTheChalice from Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: This pours a raisin / black color with a creamy tan head. Decent retention, with some spotty lace.

Smell: Lots of cherry in the aroma, with a firm woodiness as well. Bourbon, molasses, and dark malts round out the aroma.

Taste: Thick, full, and delicious. Lots of cherry is present, sweet more than tart, to start out the sip. Vanilla, bourbon, and oak add some quick depth to the fruit. Some chocolate and molasses help to contribute to the sweetness. If the cherries had more of a tart flavor, it would not be as good. Some roasted malt provides some support. The flavors casually linger in the mouth after each sip. Very good.

Mouthfeel: This is velvety smooth, with the perfect level of carbonation to bring out the flavors and give it a great feel. Very full and viscous; I feel like I am chewing each sip.

Drinkability: I think this is the one of, if not the, best offering I have had from Avery.

Mar 14, 2011
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joshuaseresse from Minnesota

4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this bottle from Stoneish. Thanks Davey! Shared with the La Crosse tasting group during our epic battle of the 12ozers. Poured into snifter:

A - Dark brown with cherry red hues at the edges. Foam ring around the edges. Pretty decent lacing. Would give it a 4.25 but ranked mouthfeel a bit higher to even this out.

S - Nice cherries and bourbon. Caramel mixed well with a bit roast and matly tones. A bit sweet with a little strawberries, sugar and vanilla.

T - Awesome! Roasty malts, coffee, cherries and raspberries. Nice smooth bourbon lingers but is really well done.

M - Really nice and creamy but a bit of a boozy heat toward the end. Carbonation is a bit sharp. Sweetness in the middle and end.

D - A sipper but perfect to share with a few people. A really nice treat that was quite delicious. Yeah, its almost 16% but was really a great tasting brew. Would love more but this is quite limited and will probably be quite hard to track down again. A must try!

Mar 08, 2011
Margarete from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 80 ratings