Archive for the tag “Avery Brewing Company”

Tweak – Avery Brewing Company

tweak17.89% ABV
Purchased at Curtis Park Market ($12.99/12 oz. bottle) and poured into mini goblet glasses.

This “stout with coffee added aged in bourbon barrels” pours a desolate black with a tight, brown sugar-colored head.  Tweak blasts out an intensely sweet nose of chocolate syrup and black coffee, with alcohol singe and barrel wood bringing up the rear (it’s very similar to the Black Tuesday we reviewed earlier this month).  The first sip is not as sweet as expected, but it packs a mighty punch – dark chocolate, coffee grounds, sawdust, vanilla, and whiskey-soaked wood chips crowd the palate, leaving an almost chile-like burn on the tongue. It’s a beer that goes directly to your dome, almost too strong for its own good, but also too big and bold and challenging to dismiss or ignore.

  4 Toasts

tweak

   4 Toasts

 

The Maharaja – Avery Brewing Company

maharaja_bttl

10.2% ABV, 102 IBUS, 21 degrees Plato
Purchased at Corti Brothers ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This famed Double IPA is part of  Avery’s “Dictator Series” (along with their excellent Czar, a Russian Imperial Stout that we reviewed here ), and it pours a deep gold with a frothy, eggshell white head.  Classic DIPA aromas make an impression on the nostrils even two full feet away from the glass. Upon closer olfactory inspection, Maharaja offers a very sweet nose of fruit syrup, strawberries, browned toast, and honey, an aroma that doesn’t seem like it could possibly be the prelude to a triple-digit IBU beer. The first swallow follows the lead of the nose, doling out honey-drizzled fruits like strawberry, peach, and pineapple, but ending in a wave of hop bitterness that closes on a note of spiced crackers. Maharaja is thick as tree sap and sweet as syrup, with a malt presence that is overstated for my taste, and an almost tyrannical mix of tastes that varies from spicy to sugary to full-on hop burn.

toasts-3   3 Toasts

Maharaja

 

toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts

The Czar – Avery Brewing Company

avery_bttl10.3% ABV
Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco (22 oz. bottle) and poured into mini globe glasses.

This beloved Russian Imperial Stout from Colorado stalwarts Avery pours an espresso black with a tight, dust-colored head.  Czar has a nose that promises dessert-like decadence – chocolate pudding, chocolate cupcakes, and bananas, with a little bit of black coffee on the periphery.  The first swallow follows up on that promise, with a big taste of moist chocolate banana nut cake welcoming the tongue, very rich and delicious.  There is a little coffee bitterness deep into the finish, and dark fruits, toffee, and wintry spices emerge as the glass warms, but that’s only if you’re able to resist subsequent sips long enough to allow those flavors to take shape.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Avery

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Top Beers of the Beer-Cation – SoCal Taster

Our number one goal on our SoCal “beer-cation” was to sample new beers, and we especially wanted to find beers from breweries that we have never tried before.  In our five days in San Diego and the LA area, we managed to check 10 new breweries off our beer list:

Alpine Beer Company

Anaheim Brewing

Avery Brewing Company

Coronado Brewing Company

Founders Brewing Co.

Hess Brewing

Manzanita Brewing

Mission Brewery

Societe Brewing Company

Strand Brewing

In the whirl of brewery tours, bar hops, and taster samples, it was easy for some new brews to get lost in the mix, but there were some definite standouts.  These are my 5 personal favorite new beers that I sampled on the SoCal trip:

1) The Bruery – Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel-Aged (@ The Bruery Tasting Room, Placentia)

2) Stone Enjoy By 09/21/12 IPA (@Stone World Bistro and Gardens, Escondido)

3) Alpine FiringsQuad (@Blind Lady Ale House, San Diego)

4) Societe Every Man’s DIPA (@Blind Lady Ale House, San Diego)

5) Port Ocean Beach Bacon and Eggs (@ Pizza Port – Ocean Beach)

* * * * *

Here were 5 more especially good beers that we sampled along the way, in no particular order:

Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale (@Toronado, San Diego)

Ballast Point Three Sheets – Rum Barrel-Aged (@Ballast Point/Home Brew Mart, San Diego)

AleSmith Speedway Stout brewed w/ Arabian Mocha Java (@ Alesmith Tasting Room, San Diego)

Left Coast/Pizza Port/Cismontaine Band Wagen Berliner Weisse (@ The Regal Beagle, San Diego)

The Lost Abbey Saison Blanc (@ The Lost Abbey Tasting Room, San Marcos)

 

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