Thursday, June 17, 2010

352. Avery Black Tot

The third beer from Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series; we previously sampled Brabant Barrel-Aged Wild Ale, but missed Sui Generis—but pretty much everyone missed that one. We do need to score a bottle or two of Dépuceleuse to stock away for a rainy day. Previously, we’ve tried Seventeen Dry-Hopped Black Lager, Anniversary Ale Ten (2003), Brabant Barrel-Aged Wild Ale, Ellie’s Brown Ale, 16th Anniversary Ale and duganA IPA. from Avery, making this our seventh beer from Boulder, CO—or at least the seventh beer from this brewery in Boulder, CO. I know, I know, the details...

Black Tot pours an inky dark chocolate; it has orange highlights and a burnt tan head that reduces to a ring after two or three minutes. The nose is an interesting mix of creaminess, dark rich malt, cane sugar, burnt sugar, molasses, tannic oakiness, and low levels of rum sweetness (but not alcohol). The oak contributes to the creamy and tannic aromas, and the parts are more distinct than married together. Flavors begin with a good amount of sweetness—cane and burnt sugar flavors, molasses, and rich malt sweetness—before transitioning to a tannic middle that is sharp and even almost tart; the oak tastes young and bright and some slight roasted malt peeks through as well. The finish still contains a good amount of lingering oak tannins, and a return of the rum sweetness with some rum alcohol flavors to round things out. The body is medium; the bright oak makes it feel thinner than it is on the mouth, and the carbonation almost disappears in relation to the sharpness of wood and alcohol. There is bite and puckering from both oak tannins and the alcohol at the end. Black Tot is sharp and very young tasting—this beer needs some time to mellow and allow the flavors to marry before we’ll even have a sense of what this beer could end up tasting like. I’d say that we opened this at least a year too early, if not more.

From the bottle: “Experimentation. Ales and lagers that defy styles or categories. This is what we are about: our driving force, our passion. To further facilitate this innovative spirit, we’ve developed our Barrel-Aged Series where anything, and we mean ANYTHING, goes! Brewed for those as adventurous as we are! No. 3. Swabbies, what could be better than yer daily rats o’ thick, chewy, and robust Imperial Oatmeal Stout? What say you, mateys? Aye, throw in yer beloved empty rum barrel for aging! To our sweethearts and wives, may they never meet! Huzzah!”

Um, do pirates actually think about aging beer? I didn’t think so...

ABV: 10.08%
Bottled: 1/13/2010
Production: 315 cases


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