Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)
Avery Brewing Company

Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
3.66 | pDev: 13.39%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)
Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 320 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

2.23/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

BOTTLE: 2011 vintage. Brown glass. 1 pint 6 fl oz. Silver foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap.

Cost was $8.99 USD. O.G. 1.069. 8.12% ABV. Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Reviewed live as a saison per the label. Expectations are average; I'm a bit skeptical of it given it was brewed with five different Belgian yeasts.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Pours a vigorous 4 fingers of foam. Beige. Decent creaminess and thickness. Nice consistency. Average complexion. Retention is good for its ABV and age - easily 6-7 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Vibrant deep copper. Translucent and semitransparent. Appears well-carbonated. Clean; no yeast particles or hop sediment is visible.

Not a unique or special appearance for a saison. In fairness, it's well outside style conventions, featuring unbecoming obvious filtration. Not hazy like you'd expect.

AROMA: Hmm. Age hasn't suited the dry hopping well; depleted stale hops lurk beneath the surface. This character is quite off-putting when coupled with the ill-chosen copper malt and Belgian pale malt base. I get hints of oxidation: cardboard, marshmallow. I search for rye's signature spiciness, but don't find it. Yeast attenuation seems poor judging by the rampant sweetness. But this doesn't suffer from a dead Belgian yeast/lees off-character as I feared. Still, it's a poor aroma for a saison, lacking fundamentals: there's no intricate spicing (a la Fantome) or nuanced milkiness (a la Dupont), and I find no brettanomyces funkiness or even any grainy barnyard character (e.g. hay or straw). Ultimately, it evokes an over-malted Belgian pale. Very poorly handled.

Aromatic intensity is moderately high. One would expect a more subtle aroma in a saison.

TASTE: That weird oxidized marshmallow tone is present, and I'd say it ruins the flavour profile if not for the bit where the flavour profile wouldn't have been satisfying anyway; it's heavily over-malted, with plenty of copper malt (more apt for a barleywine or even wee heavy) and pale malt (too sweet for a saison) in addition to the usual clean barley characteristics. What's missing is the promised rye malt (which would have lent this needed subtle spiciness) and barnyard/farmhouse malt character (e.g. hay, straw, grains, et al). There's no spice profile at all, nor is there any milkiness or brettanomyces character...so how is this a saison, exactly? The dry hopping hasn't lent this any interesting hop characteristics, though I suppose I would've found those more in the aroma anyway. Hop presence is minimal but what little there is floral in character; at least in this minor respect they satisfied one of the conventions of the style.

Has some ill-placed frutiness (replete with equally unwelcome esters), English caramel/caramalt, and even toffee...are they after a Belgian feel or a British one? The subtle white pepper notes I crave in a saison are sorely absent. There isn't even any clove or basic attempt at spice. What happened?

Where to start with the criticism? Well, the balance is completely off, and the build is completely wrong. Even as a glorified Belgian pale, it's overmalted and overly sweet, and lacks depth of flavour, complexity/intricacy, subtlety, and nuance. Flavour duration is above average, as is flavour intensity (in both cases, this is to its detriment). I do not like this, but it's not unenjoyable.

The ABV is pretty well disguised. This may be its best characteristic.

As it warms, I pick up on some artificial vanillin - perhaps a byproduct of its slight oxidation during aging?

TEXTURE: Closer to the style than the taste, but still quite lackluster. It's medium-bodied, smooth, wet, aptly carbonated, unrefreshing, a bit stale, and a bit gushed.
Slight astringency is noticeable.

Not oily, hot, boozy, harsh, rough or scratchy.

Overall presence on the palate is bad. This doesn't elevate the beer, nor does it do much to complement the taste.

OVERALL: A horribly conceived stab at a saison, Eighteen couldn't be further from its intended style and doesn't succeed as any other. Some of the worst work Avery's done and a beer I'd avoid in the future. Not only is it not a saison, the rye that was meant to be so focal in the build never even appears. I have to say I'm surprised this even made it to market. This is a strong Avoid, and is the kind of poor quality off-style brew I'd expect from someone like Bristol, but it's not undrinkable.


2017.10.30: 7 years later, I figured I'd revisit the other bottle of this I had. $8.99 USD per bottle.

Aroma brings almost nothing but fruit, hitting on pear, peach, and green apple (possibly diacetyl). Smells more like Tusker Lager than it does a proper saison.

Taste yields heavy fruity esters from the Belgian yeasts as well as warm fermentation-derived pear and appleskin. Not as bad as I remembered it, but poor for a saison.


Dec 31, 2014
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Had a fresh one on tap in 2012 and had a May 2011 bottle also in 2012. The dry hopping gives a spicy floral character which obscures some of the saison yeast notes.
Spicy nose from the hops and the rye, light floral, fruit, caramel, light roast
Pours a beautiful clear dark reddish amber under a thin white finely bubbled foam cap.
Palate starts malty, big rye flavors, caramel, spicy, with a slight tang and blight, large pitted fruit. Dries on the finish with a moderate bitter hop accent.
Medium body and medium high carbonation, slightly warming.

Sep 16, 2014
Photo of Can_if_you_can
Can_if_you_can from Minnesota

3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes, no date, drank with Nate on his second trip down.

Nate says after taste reminds him of Fresca. Medium cloudy brown with a thin white head, smells like an aged saison, rye definitely apparent in smell and taste, also taste faintly yeasty and clovey. Medium low in carbonation, slightly boozy. Taste like a mild version of John Henry's 3 lick spiker ale almost exactly.

Apr 23, 2014
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not expecting much from the dry hop at this point.

Pours a clear amber with a frothy half inch cream head that lingers. Bubbles of effervescent carbonation rise from the bottom of the tulip.

Caramelized malt, slightly buttery, along with pear and green apple firm the initial aroma. Fairly yeasty, slightly funky notes emerge. There's a hint of peach.

Flavor is less impressive. There's an underlying green apple note, along with peach and a bit of yeast character. The toasted malt backbone is present, but fairly banal. Finish is slightly dry and has a touch of rye bitterness. There's a plastic flavor that is offputting. Sweettart flavor emerges late. Rye flavor becomes more prominent as it warms.

Body is moderate, with almost sparkly carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Wish the flavor was as intriguing as the aroma. Definitely more malt character than most saisons. The malt character seems a little stale, likely due to the rye contribution.

Apr 06, 2013
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice creamy foamy 1 finger head fades at a med pace, tons of soapy lacing, hazy copper sediment laden colored

Nose spicy rye, saison spices, candy syrup and candi sugar, Belgian malt, light grass and straw, light bready malt yeast, light lemony hops. Little floral, hint phenolic.

Taste starts with copper grainy malts, biscuit, reddish toasty malt, light sweet syrupy malts, some spicy rye, hint if booze and phenols, light ester fruits, light saison spices, floral grassy hops and saison spices, little cough medicine thing, fair bitterness.Finish is sticky and syrupy, medicine and light phenols, little grassy rye and bready flavors lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, some phenolic booze, decent carb.

Overall meh, probably better fresh and wish I had it back then.

Mar 26, 2013
Photo of hackmann
hackmann from Michigan

3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: hazy deep caramel colored body with a one finger beige colored head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma: very faint, touch of caramel malts, earthy yeast, sweet yet spicy grains, a little fruity note as it warms up; reminds me of apple and pear

Flavors: much better than the nose, spicy rye, earthy notes, toasted caramel note, undertone of over-ripped stone fruit, dry grassy hops, herbal like,

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, nice fizzy feel, moderate bitterness, dry on the back and finish; is it the rye or the dry grassy hops on the finish? The alcohol did not really come into play.

To the Point: it’s okay to good; I won’t be running out to buy out the rest; if you find it and want something a little different try it – otherwise I’ll skip it. I did enjoy it a little more when I didn’t think about it.

Feb 27, 2013
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in May 2011. Pours hazy reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big orange, pear, apple, grape, pepper, clove, caramel, toast, honey, spicy rye, floral, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy ester notes. Taste of caramel, orange, pear, apple, grape, toast, clove, pepper, floral, honey, herbal, brown bread, spicy rye, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, citrus, light fruits, toast, pepper, clove, floral, honey, herbal, brown bread, spicy rye, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of malt and fruity/spicy esters, with tame rye flavor; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy, slick, and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent saison style. Great balance and complexity of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

Feb 23, 2013
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
BlurryVisi0n from New York

3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a tulip.

Appearance: Dark amber, semi-opaque...thing head. It comes off off-white but what i mean by thin is it rose to maybe a finger's length but dropped quickly. Still looks pretty appetizing.

Smell: Strong citrus scent, feels slightly floral a bit. Wish it was a notch stronger but still really nice.

Taste: Real complex, sweet like grapefruit but it's like you still feel lemon skin to go with it. It is a little sour but not overwhelmingly sour (which is good).

Mouth: Nice lemon after-taste feel to the beer. Gives it a sour dry feel almost like rye bread to it. Carbonation is a solid medium crisp and toasty coming slightly dry.

Overall: A real treat and easy to drink...after dinner or dessert this beer will definitely not disappoint. It starts off average, but builds up to something worthwhile. Avery makes a lot of incredible beers this one isn't exactly the best one you will regret if you ever miss it.

Feb 19, 2013
Photo of Boto
Boto from Connecticut

3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber: This one pours a fairly opaque caramel color. There was a pretty decent pop when the cap came off, and a fair amount of a beige head that lingers awhile. Nice nose. Rye, citrus, yeast, breadiness are the most notable. Very nice taste. Just a bit of the rye flavor, and some spiciness. A little citrus, some breadiness, and a touch tart with a hint of bitterness. A very nice offering.

Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger from South Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: Copper amber body with floating specks and timid bubbles. Head creates a offwhite layer of thin bubbles that settle to a silky film.

S: Hefty dose of spice with rye bread, tannin, barley, oxidation has set in, very timid funky yeast that is more powdery than funky. Orange, lemon and tart pear sprinkled with crushed pepper corns. Clove, old leather, booze and faint banana arrive once warmed. Musty and earthy like crawling around in the attic.

T/M: Orange oil, rose petals, soapy citrus, grapefruit, caramel malt, tons if rye, barley, cardamom, hibiscus leaves, jasmine, fruit wax and aggressive spices. Floral hops and bitter fruit round out the super dry and chaulky finish. Medium-full creamy body with spicy carbonation. Hop bitterness is unpleasant and distracts from the blend.

O: So I have to say that I was excited for this beer. This didn't age well at all. Stale spicy rye is the forefront on this beer. It really shows more like a rye IPA than a saison. Super aggressive flavor profile that is really rough and messy. Not a triumphant success of the style but still glad I was able to try this. If fresh this would have blown me away and would have done better in my eyes.

Dec 30, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange-brown with a finger of frothy slightly off white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops with sweet caramel and rye malts, some Belgian yeast, spices, and lemon zest.

T - Starts off with a mix of grapefruit and citrus hops with some bitterness, sweet caramel malts, spices, and lemon zest. Through the middle, some spicy rye comes through with some pine hops, a bit more bitterness, and some Belgian yeast flavors. The finish is a mix of grapefruit and pine hops, bitterness, rye, sweet bready malts, Belgian yeast, and spices.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, dry, and spicy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice overall balance with the rye being a nice touch.

Dec 07, 2012
Photo of socon67
socon67 from New York

3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Amber pour with a moderate white foam head and almost no lacing.

S - Spicy scent of rye. Other light grains give a scent of fresh bread.

T - Fresh, clean rye flavor with a spicy bite at then end. Some garden spices are noted as well. A mild hop bitterness balances htis one out.

M - Smooth feel, mild except in the raspy finish. Balance is nice, and this one goes great with snack foods.

O - The fresh rye really makes this one a nice beer. Since I like both farmhouse ales and rye beers this was a treat. I didn't get any of the musky yeast scent typical in saison but that's fine. I think the age did this one well.

Nov 25, 2012
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Turbid orange/brown. Head is a light blade of froth. Head is slightly tan. The cap leaves rings of lacing.

S-Wreaks of esters. A slight note of green hops that has faded over time (assuming this keg was from its original brewing date). Rye with slight spice. The rye seems almost stagnant and has lost some of that 'zip' that makes rye some fun and noticeable. A bit of melon and a bunch of eatery apple juice. Quite sweet overall. Not heavy with yeast.

T-Apple juice and fruit juice concentrate. Light grass. Old pears dipped in caramel. Spots of rye. Cloves. Mild yeast. Too sweet.

M-Sticky and lingering upon the tongue. Not an enjoyable feel. Semi-flat. Not so dry.

O/D-Not fan of this. Almost bought a bottle back when it was still on the shelves. A 'Dry Hopped Rye Saison' sounds fun. I am happy I passed back then because I did not enjoy a glass of it now. I assume this is a keg that has sat around for a while. In that case, this brew did not age with much grace.

Nov 09, 2012
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken from New York

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep amber/amber brown body, a thin layer of ivory head; drops some lacing and motes

S: sweet, chewy caramel and rye bread

T: this may be more for a rye ale lover than a saison lover - a definite dark, sweet, chewy malt base - lots of rye - which I loved; toast, booze, grains, caramel, toffee; herbal rye has an upfront chewy sweetness

M: can I say chewy again? Thicker-feeling than most saisons, and a richer, heartier beer; not as carbonated; the rye truly changes the character into something different. Fairly low-key aftertaste - almost clean-finishing.

O: I really liked this beer, but as you can see, in my experience at least, this was more of a rye ale than a farmhouse ale - but maybe I've only run into lighter-tasting and feeling saisons - I don't know. I've only had a few rye ales/ales which feature rye, but for me this beer was the rye-est beer I've had. It really rocks the rye - so fans will enjoy. Think: caramel rye ale.

I'm thinking I'm way above the average rating because I really liked the rye, and while I love saisons, I wasn't disappointed or thrown off by this beer's flavor profiles. If I was dying to have a saison - and it was in my heart and mind that it was what I was going to have, this beer probably would have gotten a different review.

Oct 07, 2012
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a nice reddish amber hue with a small off white head and minimal retention into a duvel tulip
S: smells slightly fruity, a bit spicy from the rye and yeast, a little citrus, and an underlying sweetness
T: fruity esters up front, rye spice and yeast, a little hop bitterness, rich and sweet malt flavor. swallow brings a bit of oily hop flavor, spicy rye and some more fruity esters
M: light carbonation and a slightly syrupy feel in the mouth. a bit too viscous for the style
O: Not a bad beer, it probably would have been a bit better fresh due to the dry hopping but it isn't bad. Definitely drinkable but it misses some things I'd have liked to see out of it.

Sep 22, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79 from New York

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 06/20/12 notes. Had on tap at FireWorks in Arlington, VA. Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a murky amber-red color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bananas, rye, spices, wheat, floral notes, and bready malts. Very nice bananas, rye, and spice mix; I like it quite a bit.

t - Tastes of bready malts, bananas, wheat, spices, rye, pepper, light fruity malts. Less rye than the nose, but still quite nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall I liked this one quite a bit; exactly what I was hoping for in a rye saison. More rye in the nose than the taste, but a nice mix of bananas, spices, and rye all around. Would like to have it again.

Jun 26, 2012
Photo of TubaManJack
TubaManJack from District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass that exhibits a brown copper huen color. The head held some carbonation around.

A bit of Belgian yeast and the rest is muted. I wish it was on draft a while back because of the year it sat I can see the extra bits of the nose suffered. There is a bit of hops, rye, and black pepper in the nose but alot has faded into a medium bodied malt.

Taste & Mouthfeel:
Its a nice combination that even not being fresh - was a nice take. I will say the nose laided out the taste. The hops just faded away and the rye was really working with the malt. The mouthfeel was a little thicker than I was expecting but it works with the context.

Jun 22, 2012
Photo of Etan
Etan from Wisconsin

2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz into a stout glass.

A: Pours a darkish orange-brown, murky, with a small white head. Bit of lacing.

S: A nice bit of sweet brett, some grape-like aromas, and ghost of faded hops.

T: Very dry. Charred rye grain, mild funkiness, dark spice and a tiny touch of bald fruitiness from the old hops and esters. Alcohol and a heavy smoky astringency on the back end.

M: Light-bodied, tingly carbonation, oddly astringent bite to it.

O: This is sort of odd and not very good. Too dry, too much astringency and charred flavor/feel, not enough lightness or fruitiness to the saison.

Jun 06, 2012
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear from Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-cloudy amber with a thick light tan head

S-very herbal and spicy. Pale Belgian spices. Has a touch of syrupy caramel to it. 

T-comes in with an odd mix of spice and herbs. it's not a very well balanced mix. It has some bitterness and a touch of dog breath rawness to it. Has good after-taste of spice and rye. 

M-medium carbonation with dry finish

O-it's a very interesting concept for a beer, though I dont think it was quite carried out all too well. The bitterness is just off to me. Has a weird side taste to it. I'm not a fan.

Jun 05, 2012
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. Bottled May 2011. Apparently Cincy is the biggest importer of old Avery as I can still buy Fifteen and Sixteen if I want to.

4.0 A: Big carbonation in this. First pour was 60% head. Eventually I got a full glass. Moderately hazed dark orange amber color. Big off-white, pillowy head. Retention is very good and tons of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Smells mainly of a very tasty saison. The dry hopping isn't very intense now if it every was. The rye plays a complementary role, rather than dominating. Flowery and herbal overall, which is just how I like my saisons. Not a whole lot of pure funk, but it doesn't need it. Spicy earthiness, which is amplified by the rye.

3.0 T: Taste is good, but it has a few problems. The herbalness and floweriness is solid, but there's an excess of astringent herbal-type bitterness. Earthy spicy rye is less intense than I'd like. For the most part, this is lacking all fruitiness, which I don't think I've ever encountered in a saison. That mixed with the dryness of the style and you get an earth bomb. Not that that is such a bad thing, it just doesn't work all that well in this case.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation that is lightly spritzy. Reasonably smooth despite the bitterness.

3.0 D: Not the most drinkable beer. The bitterness becomes trying over time and the lack of fruitiness makes this a bit more boring than I'd like toward the end of the bomber.

May 28, 2012
Photo of jrenn
jrenn from Kansas

4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a tulip, deep amber copperish color. One of those impressive belgian heads.

Smell: Belgian yeast everywhere. Very subtle hops and fruit. Can't really detect the rye.

Taste & Mouthfeel: It really is an interesting take on the farmhouse style. First you detect the belgian yeast and spice, then it moves to the rye and hop character. Subtle darker fruits from the hops. Very creamy and velvety. Pleasing.

Overall: I was really excited to try this. I was hoping it'd be somewhere between a belgian IPA and strong rye ale. Although it really seemed to present itself as just a damn-good saison. It wasn't as complex as I was hoping. Also, the high ABV is nice: if this brew were a Daniel Day Lewis film it'd be called "There Will Be Buzz".

May 18, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Fire Works Pizza in Arlington, VA over the weekend. Served in a taster glass. Pours a reddish-copper color with a thin off-white head and a bit of lacing as it falls down the glass. The nose carries a good bit of rye along with some peppery spice. Faint fruit there as well. Flavor keeps up with the high pepper and spice combo, with a lot of rye zestiness in there. Body is a bit chewy and a bit too thick for my liking. Decent.

May 09, 2012
Photo of RickS95
RickS95 from Indiana

3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a light brown, kind of a burnt amber, color. Opaque with a rich look. The head is a beautiful thick off-white initially, but it dissipates quickly.

The smell is right up there with an authentic Belgian. A fruity, funky yeast mixed with candied sugar. I could only pick up the rye if I swirled the beer in the snifter.

The taste was a slight letdown after the smell. The rye is prevalent in the taste as it seems to fight with the yeast to see which flavor can dominate.

There are layers in the mouthfeel, but they're very abrupt, as opposed to gradual like in most beers. It's sweet at the beginning, but the rye cuts right into line, ending the sweetness and bringing about a spicy, slightly bitter feel. The bitterness lasts well into the swallow.

I'm not a rye fan and after having this I'm not sure rye belongs in a saison. It's certainly not bad, but the rye is just a bit out of place and maybe could have been tempered more so we could enjoy the farmhouse effect a bit longer.

Apr 29, 2012
Photo of July2Nov
July2Nov from Virginia

3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Darker amber in color with a white 2-finger froth of a head.

Smell: Lighter in all aspects of the floral and hoppy aromas....as it warms up there tends to be a wet hay & mildew smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Dry hop taste with a medium body and a creamy mouthfeel is the initial feeling. Then the rye flavor comes into play and tends to dry the palette. A buttery biscuit flavor rises up and then the dry hops come back to get into the action. In the end the floral aspect lingers well into after the tasting.

Overall: While I had higher anticipation for this 18th anniversary ale, it is in no way a bad or mediocre beer. On the contrary, it is complex beer that is challenging in the aspect that it tends to be all over the place without melding together as I would have liked. It's still a very good Saison and unique for using the five Belgian yeast and the addition of the rye. Excited to see what the 19th anniversary ale has in store.

Mar 27, 2012
Photo of htomsirveaux
htomsirveaux from Texas

3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 1 Jan 2012. Served in the 0.4 L Augustiner snifter.

Large beige head. Well carbonated. Clear reddish orange in color with some floaties. Aroma is lightly spicy, yeasty, grapefruity. Starts quite fruity and sweet tart. Becomes a bit spicy towards the middle. A says syrupy. Spicy, rye with some champagne like qualities. Medium body, ethanol somewhat hidden. Finish is fruity tart. Lightly bittersweet aftertaste.

Overall an interesting beer.

Mar 22, 2012
Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison) from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 320 ratings