Friday, March 12, 2010


Not sure where things fell down on this one, but the gap between my review-stoked expectations of AVERY BREWING’s latest IPA “DuganA” and my pleasure with actually drinking it was far wider than I’d expected. Now granted, I’m not much of an AVERY MAJARAJA fan either. But just about everything else they make is stellar, and the advance word that this was a supreme IPA fit for the kings. And while I didn’t really dig it, it’s not a bad beer at all. Let’s see if we can figure this one out together.

AVERY DUGANA (I think I’ll start calling it that, Doo-GAHN-ah, just to be annoying) pours a lovely orange/copper color, just like you knew it would. It’s strong and piney like a particular strain of the IPA family should be. So you’re happy, right? Wrong. It’s not “juicy” by any means – in fact, I’d daresay it’s a DRY, almost chalky IPA. Say what? Wait a minute, it even tastes a little bit like aspirin. Yeah, aspirin – a “kiss of death” word for beer. That said, I can still see the appeal here, because it’s got some interesting balance and deep, rich IPA flavor going on. But compared to what I was hoping for? Not so much. 6/10.


Rational Realist said...

I've never been impressed with Majaraja either, which is why I've avoided this one. Glad I did.

Anonymous said...


Just found your blog and as you say, everyone has different tastes - so, it's interesting that I completely agree with your assessment of DuganA - I would rank it even lower. Maharaja, I would rank a bit higher... and I completely agree with you on the dreadful Dreadnaught IPA. Thus, it was with anticipation that I tried the Southern Tier Unearthly. Sadly, this is where we part ways - I actually rank it in between the "not as bad as Dreadnaught, better than DuganA, but not as good as Maharaja" category. To me, it has that same overly malt sweetness and too much going on in the beer to be either balanced or hoppy. I love hoppy w/out malt (where we part ways again) and believe too many IPA's have way too much malt - the Unearthly is one of them - to me, the malt overwhelms and the hops are only a fleeting presence.

But as you always say - everyone has a different palate. And, I have to admit that I really like the Pliny the Elder, the Younger, and Blind Pig - the latter is probably my favorite - but, I do think the other two are superb.

In any event, suppose I'm confirming that everyone has different tastes and palates. But also wanted to say thank you - your reviews are always helpful and at least I know where you stand on your beers - which is difficult on some of the sites that rate beer and claim to be beer advocates...


Jay said...

Rich, thanks for the informed comment. Certainly, there’s no accounting for taste, and it’s funny how one man’s mindblowing IPA is another man’s mediocre beer. I’ve continually tried Pliny The Elder looking to find the magic, and I’ve yet to find it – but every Southern Tier IPA I’ve had has knocked me for a loop, especially Gemini. BTW, I love Blind Pig IPA as you do – that’s the best hoppy beer Russian River’s ever done. I’m sure Avery will make a great IPA one of these days as well.