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Meretrix | Avery Brewing Company

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32 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.62%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Schmittymack on 07-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 82
Photo of BeerBATvocate
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into Tulip glass

A- Quite the beautiful hue. Pours a deep copper-red, with thin pillowy head that fades at a medium pace. Minimal lacing.

S- Wow. Simply stunning aroma. Strong smell of sour cherry, followed immediately by very pronounced Cabernet qualities. The sour really comes out in the nose. It's something I could sit and smell for hours(and did, well, an hour at least).

T- The taste very much matches the nose, with more pronunciation on both the cherry and the Cab traits. In addition, you taste the Brett pretty upfront. And the Lactobacillus and Pediococcus really pronounce the lingering, and increasingly sour taste that coats your palate like a bed sheet draped over it. Quite the sour punch. Simply marvelous. There are some Red Wine Tannin characteristics that seem to hang around in the background. The Brett character seems to dance around the sour cherry, as if it was a shuffle. Beautiful balance of flavors.

M- The mouthfeel is silky, slick, and coats fairly well. Nice Medium body to it. Possibly slightly higher than a typical Sour.

O- Pretty scary on the drinkability. It's rated at 9.62% ABV, but very much drinks like it's 7. Quite impressive. Overall, pretty big sour bite to it, and yet super duper drinkable. Very tasty. Each flavor and aspect played well with one another. Balanced, refined, and yet, kind of in your face at the same time(in a good way). IMO, this is the best Sour to leave Avery. Hands down. [cue applause]

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Photo of chugalug06
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice solid white/tan head with good retention. Great clarity. No lacing. Fantastic legs. Brew is rosey red with a nice pink undertone.

Strawberry, cherry, cranberry, white grape must. Sweet, tartness, Not vinegar. No lemon, slight lime.

Dry, earthy, strawberry, cherry, green apple, tart, nicely full. Fruity, aromatic. Great full sour. Carbonation is very solid and high, appropriate. Body is medium and well blended. Sweetness is rock-solid and gracious! This is an amazingly well rounded beer. Slight awkward bite at the very end. Not a vinegar sour at all. Solid.

It's nearly a perfect beer. This has to be near the pinnacle of Avery Barrel Series... Way beyond recommended. I will definitely be seeking another, just encase someone has an extra lying around. Thanks RuckusD for the swap!!!

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Photo of
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-deep red color with an initial one finger head that goes away as fast as it was poured. Nice lively carbonation. No lacing down the glass. The color is fitting for the Cab barrels and cherries that this beer has sat in for the last two years.

s-as soon as I popped the top, the smell hit my nose. There is some muted funk, grapes, wine, sour apple, cherries, and some oak on the nose. I know this sounds like a lot, but it comes out as the beer warms. Smell is a powerful part of this beer. Lots of things happening in this nose, glad it's in a snifter.

t-WOW! Beautiful expression of flavors layered in this beer. The beer begins with some sour and little funk right up front. It opens to some cherries and wood mid way through. The beer has a lot of sour fruits in here, and the apples are making their presence known. There is a cider taste in the finish. This beer will crush your palate. The finish went on for a good 5 mins. Beer finishes with some tannic notes.

m-the mouth feel is crisp. The carbonation is right on with the beer. This beer has good body.

o-Avery knocked it out of the park with this beer. I think their barrel aged beers just keep getting better and better. Great job with all of the great flavors blending in so well with this beer. It is not just sour and then more sour. There are a lot of things going on in here. I found a lot more flavors in the bottom half of the beer that was warmer than the first half.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: a nice copper mohagany color. Starts with a decent off white head and instantly dissipates into nothing. Nice and clear

S: lots of wood and cherry sour. That's basically it. That's an awesome smell by the way. A little bit of darker fruit showing up in the background

T: huge amounts of flavor. First off there's an awesome sourness all the way through the beginning to the end. The wood isn't as pungent as the smell but the cherries are bold a delicious. Super smooth for the amount of sourness.

M: there is a nice little sting from the carbonation which is like salt to food... makes all the flavor come out. The sourness doesn't dry my mouth out so I can drink for days. It actually makes my mouth water after every sip.

O: this is a Damn fine beer. This competes with concecration in my eyes and im troubled by which is better. This is an all around delicious beer and if I had more I would give this to anyone and turn them on to goodness

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle thanks to forgetfu! Epic...bonus! Bottled Jun 29 2011.

Pours a tawny crimson with very thin head that dissipates to nothing quickly. Nose is amazing...sour cherry, earthy soil, fruit leathers, saddle leather, cranberry, pomegranate, craisins, dark chocolate...I mean this nose goes on and on and on! Could smell it all week!

Palate is tart then biting sour right up front. Flavors of big juicy cabernet and black/sour cherries dominate. Then saddle leather, peach pit, cranberry (big time), raisins, dried black figs, dried berries, fresh black berries and on and on and on...

The best Avery sour I've had, and one of the best sours I've had produced in North America! This is an epic bottling, truly the definition of complex, beautifully balanced and drinks very very well at such a young age. I wish I had 12 of these in my cellar, but alas, this is (was) my only one. Awesome.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden reddish orange. Nice white head. Looks pretty solid. Smells grapey and cherry heavy. Oak, lots of tartness. Tastes great. Lots of cherry tartness. Very tart. Oak is heavy and nice. Highly carbonated.... Maybe a bit too much. Overall a very enjoyable sour

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, a huge thanks to waltonc for this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a dark red, mahogany color. About a finer of head is achieved with a moderate pour that fizzes away almost immediately leaving the slightest of lacing.

Smell – As soon as I popped the cap I could smell this beer. Tart cherries, oaky wood, slight plums, grapes, granny smith apples, and some wonderful wet hay barnyard funk. As the beer warms, each of these aromas becomes more prominent (be sure to let this beer warm up to fully enjoy such a great aroma).

Taste – Woah. Holy pucker. I could tell this one was going to be a nice sour, acidic tart beer when before I even tasted it my mouth began to ruck. A strong sour presence up front that actually continues the entire sip. Sometimes with this style of beer you get an initial pucker sensation but it goes away. Not with this bad boy. The tart cherries are much more dominant in the flavor category versus the aroma. The oak shines through both as the beer warms and midway during the sip. There is a nice lactic acidic quality to the beer, a hint of vanilla, and just a little red wine vinegar in the taste. Quite multifaceted.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, prickly carbonation, finishes a hint dry and acidic.

Overall – A fantastic sour from Avery. Very happy I was able to try this, and even happier I have one left to see how a few years will change it. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of jIsh
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery's Barrel-Aged Series, one of the brightest spots in craft beer today.

The gold foil-lining invites me; the label is simple, yet elegant. The top of this particular label reads No. 8.

As I open the cap, I am treated to an intoxicating smell, cherry, wood and (red) wine flavors are prominent. The sour smell definitely seems to confirm that this particular blend did in fact spend two years in a barrel.

When poured into my Belgian-style tulip a beautiful ruby-red color accompanied by a thin layer of slightly off white head presents itself. The head disappears very quickly, leaving several larger bubbles around the edges of my glass. This is how I like my sours to look!

As the glass warms and the beer begins to open, I'm treated to an even more amazing aroma. Wow.

The taste is quite sour, tart fruit, lactic acid, slightly sweet finish. Great balance. The mouth feel is very dry, definitely a heavy red wine influence on this one. The body is a little thin; think it will "fill out" with a little more time.

I think it's safe to say that this is one of best offerings in the series.

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Photo of Doodler
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ox bottle split with joshclauss (thanks Josh!) - Reddish brown color, decent off white head. Aromas of tart cherries and lemon zest. Slight hints of wood and burnt sugar. Taste is light bodied, nicely balanced with a great mixture of tartness and fruit. Good carbonation. Funky woodiness and a sweet finish that leaves you wanting more. What a nice beer. Loved Margarete and what Adam and the crew did here. More barrel aged cherry brews please....

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy brown to burnt copper body. Poured a 1-1.5 finger head on an aggressive pour.

S - Some tart cherries with a sweet backend. You can tell this will be sour.

T - Atomic warhead mashed with sour cherries. Succulently sour cherries to enjoyably sweet. That sweetness is resperries. It is an acidic tart that hits you in the face.

M - Smooth all the way through. It is just a well balanced beer throughout.

O - Best barrel aged beer from Avery so far on the release date. The others had to be cellared for a bit to get to this point.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 4.14.14
Bottled Jun 29, 2011

A - Dark amber with a fizzy dark tan head that is gone fast.

S - Tart cherry, oak, raspberry.

T - Tart cherry and oak, a nice sour without being a puckerer.

D - Good cabonation with a light body.

O - Nice cherry and oak flavors with a balanced tartness. Good beer.

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Photo of Schmittymack
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised I'm the first here to review this one. Shared a 12 oz bottle that I picked up at the release Saturday the 16th. Poured a reddish-brown color with a decent head that quickly dissapated. Aromas of sourness, tart cherries, a bit of funk, and malt. Taste is where this one shines: sour and very tart cherries, oak, malt goodness, with just a bit of funk. No hop bitterness, just sour and tart. I loved this brew; might be my favorite sour that Adam and CO have produced. Will be anxious to see what others think of this one.

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Photo of weatherdog
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle shared at a recent sour tasting

It pours a transparent copper with ruby overtones. A small amount of bubbles with no discernible head to speak of.

The aroma had a sharp lactic acid burn with some oak/wine tannins and just a little bit of sour cherry at the end.

I enjoyed the taste much more than the aroma. The acid was fairly strong but not vinegary or overpowering. An oak/ minor tannic flavor came next and last through the rest of the drink. I actually didn't get a whole bunch of cherries in the flavor. There was some sour cherry flavors but it wasn't so strong as if i hadn't know cherries were used I might have contributed it to a fermentation character.

The body was light and the beer was well carbonated. The acidity hampered the drinkability but it was still a very enjoyable beer. If I was comparing this beer to others with similar flavors I would say it's halfway in-between Supplication and Cantillon Kreik with less fruit flavor. I think the base beer is lighter than what is used for Supplication so I'm getting less malt flavors but has a noticeable increased acidity but no where near the enamel stripping levels of Cantillon Kreik. I can't wait for the day where American craft brewers can produce beers like this on a scale where they are accessible on store shelves.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the DFW-area Beer Advocate tasting at the Addison Flying Saucer in August 2011.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the sour cherries with a good dose of brown sugar thrown in. The flavor is similar. There is a ton of sour cherry, as well as quite a bit of vinegar, some oak and some brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of rye726
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottle ran about $10. After being fairly familiar with the rest of the beers in this series, I was expecting a lightly sour, mostly funky wild ale with lots of barrel presence. Well, there was a good amount of barrel character, but this was the first of the series that is adequately sour. Good job Avery, way to get one right. It took you long enough! Well balanced, nice complexity. Crisp clean body. Good stuff.

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Photo of claytong
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - ruby red in color. no head, but lots of fizz from pour.

smell - tart cherries big time, some wood characters are coming in, sugar

taste - follows the smell almost to the tee with sugar coming in a bit more than i expected. though tart cherries are coming in big time.

mouthfeel - dry and wet at the same time. leaves my mouth dry but starts watering for more. great carbonation, and medium bodied.

pretty fresh, im sure more characters will come with time.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First had: bottle at City Tap House, Philly, PA

Slightly hazy reddish-brown pour with a thin ringlet of bubbles on top. Aroma was fairly lactic, with a good dose of cherries and red grapes. The aroma was accurately reflected in the taste, cherries, red wine, lactic notes, tart but not puckering, dry oakiness, a hint of vanilla and sugary malt base. Enjoyable. Medium body, alcohol was right about where it should have been, moderate carbonation, dry, and easily sippable.

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Photo of julian
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark ruby amber with hints of rusty orange. Minimal head with expected minimal lacing. 4

S: Some dark toffee, residual caramel sweetness and lacto tartness. Some vinous barrel conditioned aromas. 4

T&M: Taste is consistent with the nose. Some residual sweetness, lacto sourness, some vanilla and wood aging essence detected too. Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. Perfect carbonation. 4 / 4.5

O: A great, great sour release from Avery. A nice vanilla sour tartness paired with a perfect carbonation and mouthfeel. Excellent 4.5

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip

A: Hazy almost murky mix of red/orange/brown with a finger of white bubbles that quickly recedes to a ring.

S: Huge sour cherry aroma with some musty funk and tartness. I get some spices in the way of nutmeg as well.

T: A bit more dry than I was expecting, lactic acid mixes with sour cherry in a pleasant and moderate way. I get quite a bit of vinous qualities as well. Everything mixes very well together.

M: A bit thicker than average with strong but appropriate carbonation.

O: Very nice. Great balance of lactic sourness with sour cherry, funk, and vinous qualities. Not overly complex, but very good.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Carleton (SpdKilz) for sharing this one. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving off-white foam that settles to nothing - no collar, lace, etc. Hazy dark red-brown body.

S - Lactic with lots of yogurt, some bretty pineapple funkiness, as well as some musky overripe fruits, red wine, and sweet malt backbone.

T - Taste is more vinous and oaky, with lactic yogurt notes further in the periphery. There's some light toffee malt, tart fruits, and a slightly sour apple skin finish.

M - Medium body, with surprisingly prickly carbonation. Extremely dry and tannic, with extremely well-hidden alcohol - a common feature of these Avery wilds.

D - This one is in the middle of the pack for me when it comes to Avery sours. Significantly better than the wide release ones, but not quite on the same level as Sui Generis. I'd gladly have this one again if offered.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Ken and Dan for sharing bottles of this one at the release a couple weeks back. This one poured a hazy amber color with a small amber head. Aromas of sour cherries, brett, oak, caramel and vinegar. On the palate, this one was light bodied and quite sour, with flavors of horse blanket, sour cherries, oak and light caramel.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into CCB snifter.

A - Looks like Veritas 005...ruby red, thin collar, wisps.

S - Sour cherries, oak, fruity sweetness, slightly acidic, nice tart pucker. The fruit and cherry notes are really enjoyable...could just keep sniffing.

T - Not quite as good as the nose. Sour cherries, yogurt, slight oak, some tart fruity notes. Isn't as fruity as the nose, lots of yogurt.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - Good, not great. The nose is excellent but the taste doesn't quite live up to it. I would have again, but it's not a top-notch wild for me.

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Photo of readbaron
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orangeish red with a hint of white foam.

Smells sour with sweet cherries and a hint of cabernet.

Sweet and sour - lots of vinegar tartness combined with a bit of cherry sweetness. The cabernet aging is noticable and adds a layer of depth.

Mouthfeel is good. A bit stickier than I'd like - could use a tad more carbination.

Overall - another solid offering form avery. Their sour beers continue to impress.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to readbaron for sharing this bottle.

Appearance: Meretrix has a light, mostly transparent brown color with an orange cherry tint. A small tan head forms on pouring and fades to nothing over time.

Smell: Lots of sour cherry, tart and pleasant, with a robust cabernet and some oak behind it. Not very subtle.

Taste: Tart cherries and vinegar up front combine with the cabernet, which lays slightly in the background, along with a little bit of oak. The finish is tart and acidic.

Mouthfeel: This is definitely tart, fairly acidic, and somewhat vinegary. Light to medium carbonation and a light body leaves the emphasis on the sour cherry and cabernet notes.


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

Picked this up last weekend at Avery with the esteemed bardwashrind. Pours a very nice red/copper with white carbonation that recedes to a ring around the glass. The smell delivers lots of tart cherry, with some light brett and bacterial funk. Flavor, again, is overflowing with refreshing tart cherries. Bright, acidic, refreshing...an appropriate beer for a hot Denver summer night. Body is fairly thick for a sour, and the carbonation is medium/high. Overall, this is quite a good beer. Not very complex, but nice clean sour cherry flavors here. Definitely has a signature Avery flavor to it that not every sour lover will necessarily appreciate. But worth seeking out if you have enjoyed past Avery barrel releases. Would be nice to see Avery focus on some regular sour releases (a la Russian River) instead of one-offing everything and releasing some hit-or-miss offerings.

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Meretrix from Avery Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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