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

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Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)
320 Ratings
Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison)

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.12%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by t420o on 06-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 320 |  Reviews: 184
Photo of 2Shaws
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of kmatlack
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of kojevergas
2.23/5  rDev -38.9%
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.


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Photo of PhineasGage
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of Sinewave
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of sharpski
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of mothman
2.53/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours 1 finger of off-white head. Color is a clear autumn gold.

Aroma: A lot of dry spice and rye flavors. Bready and malty. Some barnyard funk. Fairly hoppy. Floral. Some orange peel and fruit flavors.

Taste: Barnyard funk and a lot of rye. Dry and spicy. Orange peel and lemon zest. Floral and grassy. Malty and bready.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. A bit of alcohol shows here. Ends sticky and dry.

Overall, this saison wasn't for me. It wasn't easy drinking like a saison should be. It wasn't refreshing. It just wasn't much of a saison. Pretty big letdown.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.56/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours a copper color with a pretty big frothy head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some nice lacing. Darker than most for the style for sure.

S- Smell is pretty complex here and a lot going on here. Quite a bit of yeast, spice and rye are what first jump out at me. A good amount of bready malts. Seems like that there is so much going on that its kind of running together and not going well at all.

T- Follows the nose with a lot going on. Yeast is dominant, followed by spice and malts. I'm not picking up any hops. This is a pretty dry beer.

M- Medium in body and in carbonation.

O- Not really digging this beer. Too much going on for sure.

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Photo of isualum12
2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

had on tap at brewforia boise/meridian Idaho

appearance murky golden with a small head with very little lacing on the glass. No sediment to speak of.

smell- Lots of hops with lemon or apricot coming off of it.

Taste- fruity with lots of hops

mouthfeel- light fizzy with bitterness. Not a relaxed feel to it. lively in the mouth

overall not my fav. I wouldn't order it again...

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Photo of jmunsters
2.62/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle.

A: It poured a nice amber and copper color with a very solid head that retained well. Very little carbonation came up. Lacing has stuck still and I'm halfway through the glass.

S: I'm not really picking up a lot here. Light malts, a bit of caramel. No "wild" yeast, and only a little bit of citrus.

T: Actually really bland. There isn't much of anything in here to pick up on. There is a bit of roasting you can taste from the malts, a little sweetness, a hint of banana and spice you would expect from the style, but not at all like the norm.

M: Very little carbonation. Feels full body up front with the malts and lack of carbonation, fades to a slightly lesser body revealing a bit of the yeast flavor and spices.

O: Pretty disappointed here. Went to my LBS and found them gem tucked away in the holding cooler. The guy at the store was just as excited as I was finding it and reading the description. I'm was hoping for more everything; carbonation, taste, smell. It's pretty mellow for the ABV, but it's more mellow and boring than I would have expected, especially billed as an Anniversary beer.

Overall I was not at all impressed. Avery beers are a bit rare here in Michigan, and

 1,220 characters

Photo of JLeege
2.66/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dry Hopped Rye Saison, one of those beers I have dreamed about… Let’s see how it turned out.

Appearance- Pours out a clear copper color with two thick fingers of off white head. Good retention and some sticky lace left down the glass.

Smell- Lots of citrus and floral notes. Caramel, a little bit doughy and yeasty. Some muddled rye in their too. I suppose it smells like it should, but the rye isn’t as “bright” as I was expecting.

Taste- Very doughy up front, but sort of plain (Lacking the rye quality and spicy yeast). Then it turns floral and slightly citrus; your more classic saison flavor notes. A little lemon and fairly grassy. Some caramel and raison. Then the rye is noticed on the finish, again not very vibrant.

Mouthfeel- Dull, rather syrupy. Lacks the liveliness typically found in the style.

Overall- A disappointment for me, the rye addition retracted more than anything. There is a lot going on, but it doesn’t all come together very well. I love saisons and rye beers, but this was ok at best.

 1,032 characters

Photo of PDXHops
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into a Maudite tulip. Hazy dark copper with an ample off-white head that leaves scattered soapy lace patches.

Any extra oomph the dry-hopping might have provided the nose is long gone at this point (this was bottled ~9 months ago). Smells like a saison should, if perhaps a bit on the tame side. Plummy, yeast, earthy and banana notes, all in fairly modest doses.

Seems rather sweet for the style up front, but a still-potent bitterness balances it out (still, it's not dry enough). Not sure if it's by design or oxidation, but the hint of cardboard doesn't jive well with bubblegum and banana. The rye brings some interest in an otherwise disappointingly watery finish. The lingering rye and mild funk are the highlights of this brew.

Overall impression: Approachable but forgettable take on the style.

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Photo of champ103
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a dark reddish/orange color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. The foam sticks around as a small cap. Some lace is left behind.
S: Some yeast with a fair amount of fruity esters. Bananas are most up front. Some spicy aromas. Though some sulfur and a metallic aroma that is very sharp works its way up front.
T: The yeast is there with some light fruity esters. Some white pepper. Musky in kind of a wet cloths kind of way. Metal and sulfur. Really nothing I care to drink.
M/D: A medium body that is really dry. Good carbonation. Overall, not something I care to come back to. Let alone finish the bottle.

I love Avery, and Saisons are one of my favorite styles. Adding rye to the mix seems like a match made in heaven. Though like the first saison Avery made for their anniversary beers, this is a big let down. No rye, no dry hops. This just has a musky, sulfuric, and metallic flavor. Nothing I care to drink again or recommend.

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Photo of jfmorey
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I look forward to Avery's annual offerings. so this year I was happy to find that they were binging together several things that I particularly like: rye malts, saison yeasts and dry hopping.

Poured into a standard pint glass, it looked promising with a hazy amber and creamy head. However the smell was woody, acrid.

As with many creative recipes, the results are mixed. The funky yeasts, hop bitterness, and spicy sweetness compete rather than contribute to a balanced whole. Then there is the metallic aftertaste that sometimes accompanies a higher-alcohol beer.

At the end, very disappointed.

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Photo of ms11781
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled in May 2011. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep amber, almost brown color. Definitely different for a saison. Huge frothy head develops and settles at about a half finger. Great retention. Lacing clings to any part of the glass that the head comes in contact with. Good carbonation is evident in the appearance.

There is a good deal going on in the nose. Yeast is dominant. A spicy, rye character is here as well. Bready and sweet malt is present as is a slight citric note. As mentioned, there is a lot going on but at times it seems to be almost too much. Some aspects are tough to pick out and other run together, making it tough to figure out what is what at certain times.

The taste is even more muddled than the nose. Yeast is prominent as is a spicy character. Sometimes it's clove-like, other times it's definitely rye. Most of the time it's tough to tell. The sweet malt that was in the nose is here too, but none of the bready malt is present. There is a slight bitterness at the finish, which is also semi-dry. The bitterness is the only hint of hops that can be found in the taste.

The beer actually has a much thicker mouthfeel for a saison. Not thick in general but in relativity to the style it certainly is heavier. Semi-dry finish but not to dry. Good carbonation at first but it goes away very quickly.

This beer was ok overall. With the head and lacing it looks fantastic, despite being darker than normal but the aroma and taste doesn't hold up their end of the bargain. The aromas and flavors are assertive but they don't really mesh together as hoped.

 1,604 characters

Photo of Techichi
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

Photo of OldPenguinHunter
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this at the end of the night, we were all looking foward to this always awaited anniversary of Avery. We were all a bit disappointed.
A: Darker than I really like in Saisons, I know this isn't the traditional way, but I just thought it was far too dark.
S: Very sweet hoppy, earthy funk.
T: The aroma of the hop is very prevalent, wheaty backbone, alcoholic and bitter. Not very refreshing.
M: Slightly hot, flat-one-dimensional flavor.

Overall: Dissapointed.

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Photo of Akeah
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of HalfFull
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazed deep golden/light amber on tap. Half inch of slightly off white foam offers decent retention and light lacing. I was certainly thrown by the deep color of the pour. Hmmm.

Aroma was malty and a bit distracting. Caramel malts fought tooth and nail with the hop notes and the rye component. Subtleties of the yeast typical for a Saison were pushed to the background. Warming improved things in that the caramel was less dominant, allowing for a bit more complexity.

Flavor again is malt forward with dark fruit and a bit of chocolate/caramel. Hops and rye add a bit of spice to the equation but they are a bit overpowered, particularly given the light yeast influence relative to the malt structure. Offers a decent and spritzy feel, balancing itself with some warming to become marginal yet overall I'm just not getting this one. Just too much work for a saison.

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Photo of morimech
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark copper colored with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma of dry hay, yeast phenols, and some rye spiciness. Mild earthiness but not much funk.

Yeast phenol overload. Something went wrong here. If the 5 Belgian yeast strains results in this sort of outcome, then it was a failed experiment. Very dry as well with some rye notes. Bitterness is moderate or high for a Saison. A little alcohol in the finish.

For the unpleasantness of the flavor, this actually has a very nice mouthfeel. A little bit bigger body and less carbonated than most of the style.

Not a pleasant flavor profile for this drinker. This beer is definately not for everyone.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber purchased at the brewery a few weeks ago. Poured into my 2006 Great Taste of the Midwest tasting glass.

A: Pours crystal clear with a nice auburn hue, not head retention. Looks a little thin.

S: Caramel and grassy, with a significant floral component. Doesn't do much to excite the taste buds honestly.

T: Bitterness and cloves. Boozy. It's kind of harsh.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Actually pretty good in this department, but could use a bit more carbonation.

O: A bit of a mess, and I would say it is a saison in name only.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours with a relatively short off-white head over a deep, nearly opaque dark orange body. Respectable lacing.

Aromas come through with lots of banana peel, dark rye bread, and some Belgian yeasty spice.

Mouthfeel comes through pretty thick for the style. Flavors are interesting... Coriander, pumpernickel, unsweetened cocoa, citrus peel, and banana. Definitely not a typical saison.

I gave this one average marks across the board, as it doesn't offend, but doesn't impress. It has more flavor overall than a typical saison, but was just too thick for my liking - more weizenbock like.

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Photo of Etan
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of theminutemen
3/5  rDev -17.8%

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Avery Anniversary Ale - Eighteen (Dry Hopped Rye Saison) from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 320 ratings