Avery Vanilla Bean Stout

So this is a stout from a brewery called Avery. How could they possibly have not used some derivation of Ebony and Ivory as the basis for the name of this beer? Instead, we have a very stilted label that doesn't inspire as much confidence in the creativity of the people behind it as you might hope. But, I've seen crappy labels with really good beer in them, so I'm just gonna look past it all.

Black from brown in the body the a beer, the head on this beer was not much to begin with, and it goes away almost entirely within a minute or so. This isn't unusual for a barrel-aged beer; I'm not sure of what the chemistry is about it, but I suspect a contributing factor is the porous nature of the wood. The aroma is heavy brown liquor, flowers, and vanilla beans.

First sip is dark roasted malt with it's oats and earth followed by a whip-crack of brown liquor. It's not a bad combo, but it seems like there's a disconnect right in between them like someone has haphazardly slapped a beer and a bourbon together and are letting whatever happens go.

Tip-in is sweet malt with vanilla swirling around the outside. The middle approaches with a syrup of deep earth, dark alcohol, vanilla, and flowers. It is smooth right here in the middle, and it needs to hang around a bit. As the beer warms, the middle gets even better. But, then the finish comes with a snap of alcohol, wood, earth, and flowers.

Bottom Line: Character and strength. Both can be intimidating.



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