I attended an AVERY BREWING / RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING beer dinner some months back, and one of the star attractions was a glass of AVERY FOURTEEN, the 14th anniversary beer for the brewery, and a beer that’s been described by some as a (nyuk nyuk) “dubbel IPA”. In fact the fellas on CRAFT BEER RADIO said something along the lines of, “you know how we’re always talking about how some beer hides its high alcohol content well? This one doesn’t”, and describes it as a bomb, a monster, etc etc. Not exactly what I remember, but then again, I wasn’t in much of a state to remember anything at that particular beer dinner. That same week I bought a 22-oz. bottle of AVERY FOURTEEN, and swore I’d unveil it soon. When polite company finally arrived at our house last week, unveil it I did.
Let’s just say that in a 2007 notable for how many incredible beers I’ve tasted, this one is easily one of the ten best. AVERY FOURTEEN is fantastic. Certainly not as alcohol-laden as I’d anticipated, particularly when it’s nearing the 10% marker with a whopping 9.5%. A “dubbel IPA”? Hmm – well, it’s very Belgian-like in both form and body, with a rich foamy head, very low carbonation, and a deep, long-lasting roasted taste. Hops to my tongue were moderate, and not overpowering. The whole experience was actually very smooth and easy, and I craved another one presently. That wasn’t to be and may never be, given that this is a once-ever release – and yet I know I’ve seen a bottle of this somewhere recently. Stock up, everyone! This is one of the greats! 9.5/10.