Going to GABF 2010 was an 5 course meal of delicious decadence, from the countless amazing beers at the festival and local watering holes to the mouthwatering meals at Denver's hippest restaurants. Going to Avery was truly the icing on the cake.
Having been smitten with Avery's beers for quite some time now, it has been at the top of my list of breweries to visit. So when New Brew Thursday invited me to come along on their shoot with Adam Avery, I jumped. And when I heard we would be tasting Avery's newest Barrel-Aged Series beer, Quinquepartite, my inner schoolgirl gave an internal squeal of delight. (I decided NOT to be "the girl" in the group and let that squeal be heard.) CLICK HERE to see my first experience with an Avery Barrel beer, the incredible Sui Generis. And you HAVE to see the other beers tasted that night. What a lineup. I didn't call it "A Tasting for the Ages" for no reason....
BEER & BREWERY #55
Avery Quinquepartite Barrel-Aged Sour Ale, 9.91% ABV: Number 5 in the Barrel Series, this is a bright, vibrant sour, but with depth and complexity. Definite wine/grape notes. Not Welch's grape folks. I'm talking ripe, luscious grapes off of the vine. It smells wonderfully of juice in the fermenters and barrels. I am instantly transported to the wineries of Napa and Sonoma. Turns out my nose knows. This beer was aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from the prestigious Plumpjack, a Napa winery known for their big, beautifully, juicy Cabernets. But Cabernet barrels aren't the only ones used. It breaks down like this: 37% Cabernet barrels, 25% Chardonnay barrels, 21% Port barrels, and 17% Zinfandel barrels. This beer gets around.
What this does is lend the beer a variety of characteristics and a wonderful array of complexities in aroma and flavor. For instance, the drying on the finish comes from the Cabernet influence, the lighter fruit, vanilla, and citrus from the Chardonnay, the red fruit notes from the Zinfandel, and the darker fruit and brown sugar from the Port. Its a lovely amalgamation, and I applaud Avery for their successful experimentation with this beer.
Want to see what Adam and New Brew Thursday have to say about this beer? Check out their interview here!
Being the sour fanatic that I am, I decided to taste two of their other sours against the Quinquepartite:
BEER EXTRA #1
Avery Altar Boy (The Reverend in oak barrels with Brett), 10.5% ABV: Lovely caramel color. Sweet and sour nose. Yeast, wood plank, sawdust, apricot, and peach. More bitterness evident on the palate than the Quinquepartite. I really liked this one, and wanted more. Alot more.
BEER EXTRA #2
Avery Voltron: A more woodsy, oaky, darker sour. Deep caramel color and perfumed notes of sandalwood, date, fig, and brown sugar. A sweeter finish than either the Altar Boy or Quinquepartite. I love the range of drinking these 3 together. Discovering both the obvious and more subtle, refined differences in the beers is what makes beer tasting fun!
And for the finale? The highly rare, on-tap-only:
BEER EXTRA #3
Rumpkin, 13.2% ABV: Wowza. TONS of rum aromas and flavors. Think dried fruits (apricot, date), brown sugar, and yes, heat. Ever had an Aged Rum, like Ron Zacapa? They are incredible! And you sip on them much like you would a cognac. And guess what? They were aged in 18 year Gosling barrels. I'd like to sip on the rum that was in these barrels...As the beer warmed, the pumpkin side of the beer emerged, with definite aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking spice. This was quite a beer. I've never tasted anything like it.
Next time you are in Colorado, make it your mission to go to Avery. If that's not in the works, get your tail end to a store and buy some of their delicious beers.
Until next time,
Visit craft breweries, drink craft beer, and spread the love.