Avery Anniversary Ale – Seventeen (Dry Hopped Black Lager)

The usual Avery presentation with gold foil on the neck. Glad to see the Avery Anniversary series come back to Atlanta after the very strange omission of sixteen after we've had the others. Pour is at first glance a solid black, but closer inspection reveals a browner appearance that first thought. Head is good, but fades quickly and little or no lace is left. Lots of licorice notes and quite a bitter twang in the finish. This comes after a more gentle start that showcases some simple, sweet...

DuganA IPA

Passed on this at Hop City in the bomber, and went with a pint at Taco Mac on the East-West Connector, Austell, GA, USA instead. Pour is a mid-brown with a nice rocky, creamy head that has pretty good lace, retention and "stickability". Looks good. Nose and tastes reveal some pretty strong west-coast style, grapefruit astringency with an additional fair amount of residual sugar and bitterness. Resinous feel about the beer as one would expect. Alcohol is there too. As usual for the style, the...

Out Of Bounds Stout

12 oz single from Total Wine, Perimeter, Atlanta, GA, USA. Extraordinary that I have never reviewed this. Pour gives a lovely creamy head on top of dark brown body. Light brown, mahoghany highlights. Head is well retianed and produces some great lace. Good looking, perhaps the srtongest attribute of the beer. Roasted malts are really quite bitter and the mouthfeel has a medium body. Bitter and dry finish. Creamy charcoal. Stylistically very good. The bitterness here seesm to build quite...

Avery Anniversary Ale – Sixteen

$8.49 for the 22 oz, gold foiled bottle from Charleston Beer Exchange, Charleston, SC, USA. Very interested to try this, as I have a few of the Twelve Saison left. The Saison re-birth in the Anniversary series should prove interesting and the side-by-side tasting should prove enlightening. Pour is a hazy, light lemon affair with initially a high head but it disappears quickly to a spotty film and little or no lace. Nose is floral (I guess from the Jasmine) and there is a little acidic tartness...

Brabant

$6.99 for the 12 oz bottle from Bullock's, Marietta, GA, USA a couple of weeks ago. Poured into the Terrapin snifter. Pours is a cola-colored affair with an initially decent, mild frothy head. Obviously this fades fairly quickly but it leaves a thin film and collar behind. It's MUCH darker than I was anticipating. Nose has light funk and some diluted vinegar. The tastes are rather dry with a LOT of wood in there too. It's has some leathery notes but the wood is VERY strong. A little salty in...

Ale To The Chief

22oz bottle, gold foil on the neck. Cloudy orange beer. Mid-level carbonation with a small amount of lace and a spotty, thin head. Aroma is that of sweetish hops, perhaps even floral in their nature. It is not really aggressive. A typically relatively unbalanced American DIPA. There is a nasty, dry and sweet combo in the hop presence, and a lack of malty backbone to hold the thing together. Disappointing and not very good. Sharp, harsh and wandering bitterness in the finish. One and done here....

Avery Anniversary Ale – Fifteen

22 oz bomber from Green's Atlanta, GA, USA. $5.99 (I think). I had a quick look at the reviews on BA before drinking this, and I understand where people are coming from. HOWEVER, I really think that I have HUGE advantage over many of those BA's who have reviewed the beer so far. I was born in Devon, England, and was raised for a large part of my life in the county and close to the Somerset border. As a result, I KNOW, REAL West Country Scrumpy (Cider) VERY well - I was raised on it. This is a...

Avery Anniversary Ale – Ten

Thanks go out to Hoppymeal for the trade. Thanks. Apparently $6.99 at the time of purchase. Bottled in 2003. 22 oz bomber, gold foil on the neck. Cloudy orange, slightly viscous looking body with a small, but rich and soapy looking type head on the surface of the beer. Small amount, but sticky consistency amongst the lace. This has evolved into a very complex beer. I'm guessing that fresh this was just a typical Double IPA, and that some would say that IS exactly the way it should have been...

India Pale Ale (IPA)

12oz single from Total Wine, Kennesaw, GA, USA. Pour is great looking with a 1/2 inch dense white head, lovely light orange color, well carbonated and a nice amount of sticky lace. Promises much. Sweet malts are the initial tastes. These fade to give the hop burst. Fresh and sharp, with a lingering bitter aftertaste that smacks of a little aspirin. I wouldn't call it unbalanced, but I would prefer the malts to linger alongside the persistent bitterness. The finish is a little out of kilter....

Redpoint Ale

12oz single from Total Wine, Kennesaw, GA, USA. Interesting. Being catagorized as an APA I think is rather misleading. This beer drinks MUCH richer tan your typical APA, and even up to the point that I might even call this an ESB! Really nice, rich copper color, some head and a little lace. Nose and tastes are rich - good, solid malty backbone with a really significant hop dose. Big, sweet, biscuity malts up front and a solid taste. Hops come in at the end with a dry, tanin, tea like finish....

Avery Anniversary Ale – Fourteen

For all intents and purposes this drinks like a stout. Black pour with a creamy head, dark chocolate raisin notes in the nose and in the taste and the mouthfeel is VERY dense and creamy. Dense, creamy, conservative lace. Plenty of smooth, creamy hop bitterness and a smooth finish. Mild bitterness lingers with some hint of dark fruity "Belgianess", but still this seems to be a stout. I need a different edge in my Belgian Strong Dark's and this fails to deliver that. Distinct lack of Belgian...

Collaboration Not Litigation Ale

22 oz bottle, $5.99 Hiram Bottle Shop - thanks to Matt (aka SilentSabre) for putting a bottle of this aside for me. Pours like a Dubbel with that typically unattractive thin looking, dirty, mid-orange/brown pour. I dislike the look of Dubbels in general, and although this is not necessarily billed as one, that's what it looks like. Plenty of fine sediment particles present and some pretty decent carbonation. If anything, a little too much for the style for me. Not much head and not much lace....

New World Porter

12 oz single purchased in Lexington, KY, USA. Despite this being available in GA, I only recently got around to buying it when I was in Lexington at the Liquor Barn simply because I was allowed to purchase singles. Take note all stores/law makers. Very dark pour, bordering on a blackish stout rather than dark brown porter. Very little light passing through even at the extremeties. Some nice lacing. First off a WONDERFUL aroma that is apparent the second that the cap is removed. Very big...

Avery Anniversary Ale – Eleven

22 oz bottle, Liquor Barn, Lexington, KY, USA. Gold foil on the neck with an attractive silver and green label. Murky orange pour with a little bit of sediment. Nice frothy substantial head an some sticky lacing. Overall this reminded me of Sam Adams Imperial Pils. Hoppy (peppery) resinous with huge sweet malts backing them up. Aroma is a lot of fruit pineapple notes. Dry grapefruit and noticeble alcohol in the finish. Nowhere near a freash sample, and although that means I'm not drinking it...

14’ER ESB

12 oz single, Liquor Barn, Lexington, KY, USA. Yep, does a super job for an American version of the style. Dark orange pour with a lovely head and some first classs lacing. Some chill haze. Very fruity nose with equally fruity initial notes in the taste. Mild hops with malt balance, delicious. Not as dry in the finish as many of the style. Mild acidity, but great balance and really tasty and refreshing feeling. At the right temperature, this is everyday drinking material - very good.

Mephistopheles’ Stout

Bottled January 2006, Batch 1. My oh my! In the wake of Samael's & The Beast, I was thinking that Avery had just about covered the bases on MASSIVE beers, but this went to a new level. Poured from the 12 oz bottle into the Gouden Carolus mini-chalice it essentially had a body that is equivalent to motor oil, with a milk chocolate bubbly head that is quickly gone. Very little lace. Aroma has strong but not overpowering alcohol, but it is intensely sweet. I mean SWEET, and that's coming from...

Avery Anniversary Ale – Thirteen

=== Updated Review 01/08 === 18 month old bottle. $5.99 Cheers, Carrollton, GA, USA. Although the carbonation is still there with an aggressive pour, after the initial life it is pretty much dead. Quite smooth and sweet with a touch of oxidation, this drinks "wine-like" and has a little note of sherry and maderia. Alcohol seems to have toned down a lot. Alcohol is still in the nose, but the taste of it has mellowed. Finish is only lightly alcoholic as opposed to harshly. To be honest, this is...

White Rascal

Extreme yellow color, almost to the point of looking artificial. Cloudiness yes, but with the addition of rather a lot of yeast type floaties. Not adding to the aesthetic nature of the beer. Decent head, some lacing. Typical in many respects. Highly drinkable with an orange peel and coriander back drop. Goes down real easy - need hot weather to fully enjoy one of these. Mouthfeel is better than average, a decent interpretation.

Old Jubilation

Great tawny brown, deep colored pour with a big head, nice lacing and some decent retention. Aroma is alcoholic and acidic fruit. Tastes are dark fruits (figs, plums, raisins) but there is a strong brandy alcohol presence too. Definite huge malts up front, but this fades very rapidly in the finish to give some real bitterness. A very complete and quite complex beer indeed. Mouthfeel is full and staisfying. Quite alcoholic in the taste, but not in an overpowering way.

The Beast Grand Cru

=== Updated Review 12/10 === 2005 Vintage. Thanks go out to finewine mike for a chance to try this again. Same vintage as the original reviews (below). Murky brown body with obviously no head or lace. Massive fig, dried fruit and raisin notes with (still) powerful alcohol. Very sweet and lots of oxidized notes. Very smooth and relatively easy drinking (considering). Scores adjusted (down) from the original. === Updated Review 06/06 === Second 12 oz bottle, also 2005 vintage, much the same...

Ellie’s Brown Ale

Nice deep red/brown body, a fluffy rather than a dense head, and some non-sticky lacing. Malty nuttiness in the aroma. The taste is *absolutely* dependent on the temperature of this beer. When it is cold everything is very, very muted, but when the temperature rises after about thirty minutes of room temperature standing, this beer blossoms into its full glory! Full sweet, nut flavors bathe the tongue, and there is a real sense of fulfillment from the drink. Delicious bitter finish on top of...

The Czar

The pour is certainly very, very dark brown if not quite black in hue. Quite a few ruby red highlights, but not quite a jet-black as I was anticipating. Aroma is really quite sweet with a little roastiness. Taste is very smooth and sweet, with the bitterness reserved for the very end of the short finish. Some carbonation in the mouthfeel and the head is a little more "airy" than the style would suggest. Very drinkable RIS considering the strength.

Hog Heaven Barley Wine

9.2% ABV, 100 IBU's. Cloudy, orange body with what looks like some chill haze, almost no head except for a little attractive, spottiness on the surface, and next to no lacing. Aroma is a hop bomb, double IPA type with no hint of the malt sweetness that follows. Super-sweet malts start this off, only to be balanced by an equally large burst of hops that come in the middle and the finish of this big BW. Sort of excess, followed by excess. A little peppery hoppiness in the finish. Quite a...

The Kaiser

Imperial Oktoberfest? Well, for all intents and purposes I think we have a beer that is basically a Barleywine. Massive sugar, with the associated cloying sweetness, large alcohol up front and all the way through and very little subtle respite from the sugar and the alcohol. Some decent head early, but this fades quickly on warming to give a typical high alcohol "dead head" and sweet, thick body. Some residual lacing, but this is as a result of the sticky sweetness rather than any decent,...

Salvation

Beautiful, golden clarity with a good head, but it disappears quickly to leave little or no lacing. More retention would be nice. Initial tastes are like a strong Euro lager, but the Belgian yeasts kick in to give an authentic Belgian feel to the long finish. Some cloves in the aroma and taste. Very nice rounded mouthfeel with alcoholic esters and sweet candied sugared fruits coming through strong. Especially noticeable is the pineapple taste. As it warms the Belgian character fades and it...

Avery Anniversary Ale – Twelve (Saison Ale)

=== Updated Review 05/09 === Delighted to find a bottle of this marked down from $6.49 to $3.99. Why not take a chance? Carbonation is still great which was my first worry. Nice lace. The beer still drinks with a degree of peppery harshness, AND reamins bitter just like four years agao, AND remains at the edge of the Saison category, but now it has developed a real, distinct and delicious lemon note. Light spice, light acid and a touch of funk, it finishes with herbal sweetness. Delicious,...

Samael’s Ale

2005 Vintage. Well, essentially this is a Madeira Port posing as beer. When I smelled this and then drank it, I could think of nothing else. It's huge in all respects. Alcohol is warming and then burning, the deep and dense liquor smell is absolutely immense, and it drinks like a port. Hugely rich and although not difficult to drink, one is plenty for me in most sitting, settings. A "one-bottle sipper" in my opinion. Aromas and tastes are dominated by the warming, intensely fruity alcohol. The...

Piglet Purgatory

Thanks to mentor for this sample of the beer as let unreleased on to the general public. Lovely light copper colored body with a very firm looking, dense white head with some very nice lacing. Pleasant, mildly metallic hops in the nose. Lots of really quite bitter, citrus grapefruit notes in the taste, against the back drop of a thinner than usual mouthfeel for an American IPA. If I had to characterize it, I would say that this beer has the feel of an English IPA, but with the over-hopped...

Karma

Well, very odd. Firstly I would NEVER have guessed that this was supposed to be a Belgian pale. To me it was real thin and watery, with no hint of the spice or yeast. It drank just like a middle of the road American Pale Ale. Nice, drinkable and OK, but simply non-specific. The kind of beer I would expect a competent, small, local brewery to produce as their bog-standard offering. Maybe I've lost the feel for the regular (non-Strong) Belgian Pales or maybe I've been expecting bigger beers from...

Maharaja

Originally from mentor as part of BIF #16 phase #3, subsequently from Green's in Atlanta, GA. In a nutshell this is everything good about the great American obsession with big, hoppy monster IPA's. Great looking orange pour, beautiful citrus grapefruit aroma, immensly satisfying sweet big hops, balanced against a solid malt backbone. As it warms it gets sweeter and sweeter. Head and lacing are excellent, it looks great, it tastres great, it IS great. IPA fan? Double IPA fan? Hophead? Any of...

The Reverend

Poured into the Chimay goblet. Light amber, crystal clear pour with a nice head that disappears quickly to leave a spotty, creamy reminder. I don't pick up any really distinct aroma other than the obvious alcohol and general fruitiness of the esters. It is sweet, but there is also a distinct "Belgianness" about this beer, perhaps due to the types of yeasts used. Considering the ABV this has a very light mouthfeel. There is a bitter, hoppy, sharp, high alcohol finish, the hoppiness of which...