Avery Brewing Co. / Russian River Brewing Company Collaboration Not Litigation (Batch #9) – Belgian Strong Ale at 8.9% ABV | 55 IBU

Avery Brewing Co. / Russian River Brewing Company Collaboration Not Litigation (Batch #9) Belgian Strong Ale at 8.9% ABV | 55 IBU (US$9.99 at Specs Main Houston, 650 ml, packaged on 1-Jan-2016, acquired 8-Mar-2017, reviewed 2-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear medium amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: honey, orchard fruit, citrus, bready yeast, coffee/cocoa, cloves. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-full slightly slick body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

This is of course very nearly the poster child for feel-good craft beer stories, where two breweries with beers of the same name decide to collaborate instead of litigate. Except, if you ask me, this is kind of averaging elephants and avocados: Avery’s offering is a BSPA, while Russian River’s is a BSDA. “What’s the difference?” you may ask? Well, the difference between Pale and Dark, of course. And obviously, when you blend light and dark, you get something in-between – and that’s precariously close to “middle-of-the-road” for my taste. I’ve had RR’s version by itself, though not Avery’s, but based on a review of my notes and t’internet, it looks to me like Avery is dominating this: RR’s is a full-on Belgian Dark, and though there are elements of that here, they’re definitely far in the background. What I get in the foreground is honey, apples, and pears, none of which are present in the RR contribution.  (Kind of reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, actually, in that there’s a whole bunch going on, that isn’t necessarily all that thematically unified.) Still good fun, but I’m not sure a shared name is a good enough reason to try and make this work. (15/20)

My 248th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 238th from the 2013 edition, and 262nd combining both editions.

7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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