Since 1993, Avery Brewing Co. of Boulder, Colo. has been pushing the limits on extreme beers and producing some very sought after specialty brews.
Along with its year round selections, Avery has produced, amongst others, some intense, high ABV barrel-aged beers that have garnered high acclaim including;
- Dui Cochi – an 18.6 percent ABV coconut porter aged in bourbon barrels with pumpkin added.
- Tweak – a 16 percent ABV bourbon barrel-aged stout
- Black Eye – an 18.82 percent ABV rum barrel aged stout
- Xolotl – a stout aged in bourbon barrels with cacao, vanilla beans, chiles and cinnamon
Besides the aforementioned beasts, the brewery has introduced some great concoctions in its Botanicals & Barrels Series including Apricot Sour, Vanilla Bean Stout, Tangerine Quad and the one I will review today, Raspberry Sour, a 6.5 percent ABV sour brewed with seven different malt varieties, Westmalle Belgian ale yeast and Bravo hops.
Poured from a 22-ounce bottle, I get a semi-cloudy dark gold-tan color with light touches of reddish hues when held under a light. There is a finger of off-white head that rapidly vanishes and carbonation that—after the initial pour—remains quite dormant until the glass is shaken.
Aroma hits me square in the nose with fresh raspberry puree and then a bit of funkiness and wet hair. Taste is a barrage of sourness from the lactic acid and then fresh tart raspberries and a very light woodiness from the oak barrels. There is also a bit of candy-like tartness on the back end, like a raspberry Now and Later.
The mouth feel is puckering raspberry sourness, with a bit of the oak again on the back of the tongue. Balance is good but would have liked a bit more of the barrel to smooth things out more. The finish is crisp, sour, tannic and relatively clean with remnants of those tart raspberries that linger on the palate.