Avery Brewing Company

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Wild Ale
4.18 | pDev: 9.57%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Strong sour ale aged in fresh Gosling's Old Rum barrels.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 135 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.35/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Another beer from March Madness 2018. Goes in with some trepidation, not really a fan of double digit abv sour beers.

Pours a color similar to oud bruin/flanders mashup. Brownish dark red. Fails to amass a head. Ooof, here we go I thought.
A woody, sour, boozy nose, plenty of acetic acid, so I'm still looking at this like its a Gilgamesh from Upland (translation: boozy imperial oud bruin/flanders).

Surprisingly, this wasn't that sour, below average, and that actually helps given where I thought this beer was going. There isn't much in the way of rum flavor, aside from the booziness and slight wood impact. Still plenty of vinegar notes. The mouth feel develops a slight bit of complexity as there is a light leather aspect to it. Somewhat contradictory, the sourness is low but the acidity is high(er). The rum component seems largely a way to get a high abv beer and not let the bacteria do its full fledged souring thing moreso than actual taste. Too boozy for me to care for another, especially at around $1/ounce. One and done.

Oct 21, 2020
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BeerDawgs from Georgia

4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Brown with reddish tint, 1 full finger of head and some nice lacing left all over the brew. Impressive for a beer that's now 4 years old

S - Hue sour aroma - almost bites your nose hairs. Amazing

T - Oak, vanilla sour and funk, acidity, and very subtle rum. Amazing beer!

F - Well carbonated and light body.

O - Pretty much a perfect sour. Rum is very subtle

Jan 13, 2018
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Alieniloquium from Florida

2.26/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle. Deep reddish amber. Small khaki head. Smells rummy, funky and oaky. Acetic acid aroma. A little bit of diaper. Taste is all over the place. Strong vinegar sourness. Rum, oak, and vanilla. Very sweet. Vinegar sourness builds into the finish with a dry oaky aftertaste. Heavy and overly sweet. Medium carbonation. Spectacularly unpleasant sour.

Oct 13, 2015
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass. Gold foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap. Bottled: Aug 15, 2013.

10.89% ABV. Expectations are moderately high - I love Avery's sours when they're done right, but why must they always make the ABV sketchily high - and will rum barrel notes really complement bacterial sourness? Reviewed live as an American sour ale per the label.

Served cold into a teku. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide head. Pale khaki colour. Decent creaminess, thickness, and fullness. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Dark amber colour. Could have more depth and vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate is visible.

Appears aptly (under)carbonated. Not unique or special for a sour, but appealing.

AROMA: Lightly acetic, with traces of pie crust in there. Has a neutral malt base which lends little sweetness, if any. Cream. Faint bacterial character (pedio and lacto). I don't pick up on any overt rum or sugarcane notes, but there is barrel character comprised of suggestions of wood (though not evocative oak) and...something I can't place. Perceived sourness is quite low, actually, maybe a 2-3/10. It's not tart at all. Nor is it fruity. But the slightly Rodenbach-esque acetic character is a stand-out.

Aromatic intensity is mild.

No hop profile, biscuity yeast character, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The acetic character comes through in the taste, and the sourness does pick up - amounting to a 3-4/10 in terms of intensity. I do get pie crust, but not as much as I'd like (see Rodenbach). Bacterial notes are present throughout, but more intensity is needed...why is the ABV so damn high? Why not tone down the ABV/initial malt sugars, go with lower attenuated yeast, and let the bacteria run amok as it should? Why is Avery so damned obsessed with unnecessary high ABVs? The rum barrel character isn't very evocative, but I count this as a good thing - Jamaican rum and sweet sugarcane notes just wouldn't jive with the bacterial fermenters, and I can't see coconut or toastiness working well either. A dampened wood tone ties the beer together, giving it cohesion.

As it warms, notes of green/crab apple, must, faint leather, oak, and vinegar emerge. The leather in particular is apt, and really aids the flavour profile.

Overall, I find it subdued and reticent to its detriment. The alcohol, while shockingly well disguised, still affects the beer negatively; this isn't as alive a beer as it should be, and I can't help but blame the high alcohol content for killing the bacteria prematurely. It's a balanced build, but never comes off gestalt. Complex and subtle enough, but of course there's room for more intricacy. I really like it, and it's a minor success in the style, but with work it could be great. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Good flavour amplitude.

No hop profile comes through, nor does any overt alcohol.

TEXTURE: Has a full and aptly weighty presence on the palate without coming off heavy, burdensome, or overbearing. It's well-carbonated - perhaps even overly so. It's smooth and wet. Could be softer and more delicately handled. Overall presence on the palate is good. This texture doesn't elevate the beer, but complements the taste well. Still, it doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the taste and could use fine-tuning. What really works here is the leathery feel; it's incredible.

The acidity is well above average, but I'd like to see them push it more.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. Doesn't drag on the palate.

OVERALL: A well-executed sour from Avery, but by no means a world class brew. The acetic character is a stand-out, but it's been done far better in other beers. I'd nab this again if it wasn't so damned expensive. If you were hoping to see how prominent rum barrel character affects a sour ale build, you will be disappointed; Avery didn't commit to the rum barrel here. Very drinkable - shockingly so for the ABV. Worth trying once, and a welcome addition to Avery's wild ale roster. But it won't impress the discerning drinker.

Low B+

Drinks well from a teku.

Dec 30, 2014
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Explained as a strong sour ale that had been aged in Gosling's rum barrels- one thing is for sure: when Avery Brewing Company decides to explore imagination and push the envelope, they're not afraid to go balls to the wall!

As the post-ten percent ale pours, it simply looks like cognac with its dark, tawny brown hue that show ribbons of crimson, mauve and mahogany when held in the right light. While any foam character rushes to the edges, its sustained collar eventually succumbs to its own acidity.

Olfactory piercing tartness strikes the nose with a flurry of fruit- sour grapes, crab apples, dried limes, green cherry and cranberry all seem of the under-ripened variety. Light earhten character of of cellar-type must, weathered oak, vinous dry wine, curing leather and fresh-hung tobacco all come to mind as the ale swirls in the glass. All this with a tinge of maple- reminding me of the rum infusion.

The highly acidic flavor strikes the palate as red-wine vinegar, dry and oaken merlot link up to those tangy and sour fruits. All these seemingly out of control flavors are held in a shell of maple and allspice- garnering the taste of rum, but not the associated sweetness from rum. As its spicy finish ensues, a hint of acetone hides just behind all that unapologetic sourness.

While there's a more robust taste to this sour, its tactile sensations are clean with lactic sourness that strips the palate and ushers in high refreshment. Its wood-derived astringency waters the jawls and pricks against the taste buds with all its rummy spice, alcohol warmth and fermented phenols.

Thensaurum is a masterfully created ale that tackles a sense of high gravity and polarizing sourness at the same time. What should have been a disastrous of a beer turns out actually quite irresistible.

Apr 25, 2014
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PaulyB83 from Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle 08/15/13

A- Deep ruby/garnet with a small slightly off-white head that quickly dissipated to a small ring.

S- Sour tart, some green apple, citric acid, alcohol coming through with some of the rum, very slight dark dried fruit, reminiscent of a Belgian strong sort of.

T- Similar to nose. Citric acid, green apple, slight rum and dried dark fruit. ABV is tamer than I thought it would be.

M- Medium with a lasting sourness. Bit more carbonation than the other sours that I can recall.

O- A pretty good sour. Was worried the ABV and rum barrel aging would be overpowering but I did not find that to be the case. I prefer a bit more sweetness in my sours, such what in encountered with Le Terrior but the dark fruit aspect in this one is intriguing.

Nov 19, 2013
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dirtylou from New York

4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottle pour @ star bar, #5 in the barrel aged bike ride

Burgundy body - extremely wood-forward, sour cherries, molasses, tart lactic funk. Over 10% and barely noticeable - rum barrels provide interesting flavours though I'd be hard-pressed to detect true rum flavour. Definitely a favorite of the day - tasty stuff

Oct 16, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

the newest (as far as I know), of the avery barrel ages sours. this is a cool serious, but one that probably should have stopped with oud floris, by far the best and most complex of the lot. this one is unnecessarily alcoholic, and the rum flavors aren't all the way congruent with the highly acidic sour flavor and feel of this reddish brown beer. it smells like chokecherries and oak, not a bad combination, but the almost vinegary sour is evident, and I know from smell alone that this is going to be a real acid bomb. sure enough it is, and with the alcohol it almost hurts to drink. the flavors are intriguing. spiced rum or something similar adds a sweetness that makes the beer a little thick, and the alcohol makes it a slow sipper and a bottle to share. it has that same mouthfeel as all of the other avery sours, I don't know what it is, but im not stoked on it. maybe its their process, but it detracts from what is supposed to stand out about this beer. it could have been in red wine or whiskey for all I know, the rum isn't as specific as I would like it to be, other than the sugar, which doesn't help things. overall a good beer of course, this whole series is unique, but this one is forgettable in comparison to the others, not one I will go back to, especially for the price.

Oct 07, 2013
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ArrogantB from Colorado

2.7/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle $10.99. Dark brown color, decent head. Aroma is putrid diapers. Seriously bad smell, shit and garbage. Not good at all. Flavor is a bit of sourness, some sugar, very mediocre. This was another disappointing sour from Avery and I just don;t like their style. Sui Generis was good but most of these are pretty poor when compared to benchmarks like Russian River. They're sort of dirty if that makes any sense.

Sep 30, 2013
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a bottled on date.

Look: Deep brownish burgundy hue, good lacing

Smell: Big tartness, wood, mild char, cherries, faint rum, mild spice, faint leather

Taste: Sour throughout, very woody, subtle rum, warming alcohol, green peppercorn, chicory, lemon pith, brown sugar, hint of barrel char, rose water, dry finish

This is one spectacular sour ale, without a doubt a sipper though specially the strength. Great to finally see these beers come to market because Todd and I have been at the brewery when the are pulling nails if you know what I mean.

Sep 27, 2013
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DjangoThePackageMang from Colorado

4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: light brown head that disappeared quick and a dark brown color.

S: smells like a sour with a hint horse blanket, I did get a whiff of oranges. a slight hint of rum... very light though.

T: again I do get a sense of horse blanket, a little funky and sour. I can't taste to alcohol even though it is a 10.89% brew. A little bitter on the back of the tongue that I can't pint point. A nice hint of maltyness

M: silky and smooth. still can believe that it is a 10+% brew... no alcohol burn at all.

O: smooth silky and oh so easy to drink for a 10.89% brew. I will definitely be buying this one again.

Sep 27, 2013
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spoony from Colorado

4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle (bottled August 15, 2013) into a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces some short-lived khaki foam. The head drops to a collar in less than 30 seconds, which is to be expected given the style and ABV. The beer is dark, dark cranberry-brown...kind of a unique color. I can see a few streams of carbonation.

S-The smell is pretty sour in the typical Avery style (e.g., Odio Equum and Oud Floris), but the sour is tempered a bit by the brown sugar and molasses from the rum barrel. I get tart raspberries and strawberries, the aforementioned rum flavors, and a bit of funk. The alcohol comes through as spicy warmth more than anything. Interesting.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. In other words, it is quite tart with raspberry, cranberry, and strawberry fruits and a warming, but well-integrated alcohol, up front. About halfway through, the rum barrel flavors kick in and dull the acidity/sourness. The finish is more dark caramel, molasses, and brown sugar than tart fruit. Again, interesting.

M-The feel is medium to light heavyweight with a kick of assertive carbonation up front that fades on the palate.

O-I had a hard time scoring this beer. On the one hand, I appreciate the desire to expand beyond traditional flavor categories and I don't know if I have ever had a beer with such distinguishable flavors from different ingredients, i.e., the tart wild ale versus the sweet rum barrel. On the other hand, I don't know if I actually liked how the rum barrel flavors paired up with the tart berry flavors. I guess it works, because I drank the whole bottle without thinking about it, but I was left a little puzzled at the end.

Sep 23, 2013
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denver10 from New Mexico

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel brown with a slight beige head around the edges. More head to this one than the usual Avery sour I am finding. Aroma is sweet and sour; the typical Avery sour base is there along with rum, wood, berries, pineapple, sponge cake. Flavor starts off showing off the typical Avery sour base, then comes in some caramel, rum and barrel, and i get some bitter and juicy grapefruit. As it warmed, some of the berries come in and steal the space away from that grapefruit. A medium, maybe a bit heavy, bodied, not much activity mouthfeel. Overall, really digging this sour from Avery. Would drink again if the opportunity every were to present itself.

Sep 23, 2013
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tjmodica from Texas

4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is amber with some light red hues when held up to the light, very nice lacing. Avery nailed the color on this one. The smell first is sour and fruity then oaky tart dry hay comes out. Tons of sour fruity flavors on the nose such as cherries, plums, apples, with hints of lemons and grapefruit as well. A nice sour taste which gives you that sour pucker that makes you want more. Plenty of the sour fruits in the taste as well. Very crisp and balanced. If you will, this is like an imperial version of JP La Roja. Really nice and a top 5 Avery sour for me. I have no idea what part the rum barrels play in this equation, but I like it.

Sep 14, 2013
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chugalug06 from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Looks like iced tea... Dark brown brew with soapy-foam tan head. Head fades fast; no lacing.

Tons of fruit. Berry. Lemon. Tartness. Spice. Vanilla. Strawberry rules the berry :)

Thin, lightly oakey, tons of tart berry, lemon, not a ton of vinegar, but nice smooth sourness. Well done. Wood could be slightly deeper as could flavor profile, but flavors meld well with the prickly carbonation, sweetness, and extreme lack of bitterness.

One of my top favorite Avery sours, for sure; I wish I had more of these to see change over the years... A damn fine brew, highly recommended, if you can find it.

Sep 06, 2013
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RuckusDu from Colorado

3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

First crack at this beer released about a week ago. $12 per bottle, 276 cases sold. #17 in the Barrel-aged series. Ale aged for a year in first use rum barrels. Poured into Duvel tulip at about 45 degrees.

The head is almost non-existent, but the few bubbles stick around the whole time. Body is clear and a deep maroon/amber. Aroma is that typical Avery sour. Smells fruity like dark berries. Flavor is a little less sweet than other Averys which must be the rum coming through. A little bit of tobacco and apricots on the back of the mouth. As it warms, these become more harsh. On the mouth it has a medium body and not much puckering.

Overall, it is a very fall-like beer. The rum is prevalent and takes away any sweetness. Take your average Avery sour, add some rum, and you get this beer. Nothing crazy, but you are probably drinking it because you enjoy the other Avery's and this one will not disappoint.

Sep 01, 2013
Thensaurum from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 135 ratings