Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Eve - Avery's Demons of Ale

Last evening for New Year’s Eve, I acquired in Phoenix and Denver the Demons of Ale series from Avery. First on the list was Samael’s, an oak-aged ale flavored with oak chips at ABV of 14.9% with an IBU of 41, and bottled in April 2007 batch 3. Avery describes Samael’s Ale as “a super-caramelly, oak aged English-style strong ale. Perhaps the least hoppy (sacrilege here at Avery!!) beer we’ve brewed, to accentuate the malt. The oak is very apparent in this rich and high gravity ale, adding additional depth and complexity with a woody and cask-like nose and a pronounced vanilla flavor on the palate.” This one pours a nice copper color and you can taste the oak and is sweet on the first taste with a dry finish. This is a sippin’ beer and I enjoyed it.

Mephistopheles’ Stout with an ABV of 15.92% and an IBU of 107 and bottled November 2008 batch 4. I really enjoy the darker ales and I was looking forward to this one. It pours very dark with a small lacy head. Avery describes Mephistopheles as “the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel. Amazingly complex, coal black, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish. I could pick up the cherries and a slight coffee note on the finish. This is a nice one and it was a great for round 2.

The Beast Grand Cru with an ABV of 16.31% and an IBU of 68 and was bottled in 2008 batch 6. Avery describes the Beast as, “a seducer - accommodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. With a deep burgundy color and aromas of honey, nutmeg, mandarin orange and pineapple, this massive and challenging brew has flavors akin to a beautiful Caribbean rum. Dates, plums, raisins and molasses are dominant in a rich vinous texture. Cellarable for 10+ years”. This pours a reddish-brown and produced a small head. I could understand how this can be “cellared” for a long period of time. This is an interesting ale and there is a lot to be tasted as I picked up the fruits of dates and raisins with the sweetness of molasses.

The Demons of Ale from Avery are complex and there is much to be tasted with these ales. Avery has done a great job with these and I found a great brewer. I plan to visit Avery brewery this year and I will compliment them on their products. Avery was the first brewery I decided to sample and I have tried all of the offerings that are currently available in the line up. The next brewers of focus are Great Divide, Left Hand, and Odell.

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