Thursday, May 6, 2010

310. Avery Anniversary Ale Ten (2003)

Tonight was a humdinger of a sampling night; we rolled through a whole buncha fun stuff, so I’m gonna stick to the highlights, since rambling on about the bottle-hopped Two Hearted clone and the couple of other Hefeweizen homebrews we tried would take away space from our two big champions of the evening, Avery Anniversary Ale Ten (2003) and St. Feuillien Brune Belgian Abbey Ale. Elli and I were joined by our friends Jeff Fortney and Jeffery McElfresh for the evening—it was a redux of our night playing Brewmaster, although we didn’t bust that out this evening. For all of the obvious reasons, we've going with the Avery as our beer of the day, since I don’t think another will be coming our way soon.

Avery Anniversary Ale Ten is from Avery Brewing; we’ve previously run through Brabant Barrel-Aged Wild Ale, Ellie’s Brown Ale, 16th Anniversary Ale and duganA IPA, making this our fifth beer from Avery.
Chug it! Chug it!

Bottled in 2003, Avery Anniversary Ale Ten was originally a DIPA, but has since mellowed into something more like a barley wine. Pouring a hazy golden yellow copper with a minimal white head, Avery Anniversary has a minimal white head, but is still decently carbonated. The nose is intriguing and complex; we got creamy and fruit aromas, including yellow raisin, apricot, and orange preserve, a light spicy aroma, which could be the remaining hops, and a soft tobacco aroma. The body, while medium to heavy, is still smooth and has mellowed very nicely with age—there is very little perceptible alcohol flavor or warmth, although a small amount did emerge once the beer warmed to room temperature. The carbonation is medium to low, but still most certainly present in the beer. Avery Anniversary starts with a dry flat maltiness mixed with a bit of sweetness before moving into some spicy hop characteristics in the middle; the finish is dry and clean, although slightly chalky. A very good beer that has aged well, and still has some further life in it, making me wish I had more than just this bottle. Our only real critique would be that there is a slightly disjointed feel between the nose, the flavor profile, and the finish. While it is still very good, the chalky ending is not as exciting a finish as the nose initially indicates. The nose is certainly one of the highlights of this beer—I smelled mine for a long time before I even bothered trying it, and spent a good portion of my time slowly enjoying the subtle aromas this beer presented.

And it’s probably no surprise that there is no description of this beer on the Avery website. Here’s what Beer Advocate has to say, though.

ABV: 10.0%

Here’s another hand full of trouble.

The second victim of our evening was St. Feuillien Brune, which is a Belgian Abbey Ale dubbel from Brasserie St. Feuillien in Le Roeulx, Belgium. Not surprisingly, this is our first beer from St. Feuillien.

Brune sits a caramelly dark copper with red and orange hints in the glass; it has a creamy tan head and a dark fruit nose consisting mostly of raisin and prune with a fair share of accompanying caramel sweetness. The front is mostly a rich sweet caramel flavor, moving into a darker fruit middle with a fig flavor emerging to compliment the raisin and prune of the nose. Brune ends with a lingering rich Belgian candy sweetness; it has a rich chewy mouthfeel with medium carbonation that has some brightness at the end that helps clean up the finish. A very good and drinkable dubbel, although very rich—the proliferation of this term in the review slightly shocked me in the re-reading, but Brune was still certainly enjoyable, and never excessive in its richness. We’ll be checking out St. Feuillien again.

From the St. Feuillien website: “This brown ale has a marked ruby brown colour with a generous and lasting head. It has a distinctive aroma reflecting the wide range of ingredients used in its production. The fruitiness resulting from its fermentation blends harmoniously with a dominant liquorice and caramel flavour.The body is decidedly malty. The bitterness is the result of a complex alchemy between the fine hops and special malts used. These give St-Feuillien Brune a typical dark chocolate appearance. This beer creates an endless variety of sensations with a lingering taste and powerful aroma.”

ABV: 7.5%


No comments:

Post a Comment