Sunday, June 2, 2013

Live-Blogging: Avery Twenty

Once again I am trying a new style of posting. Instead of a simple beer or brewery review where I try to cover all the staples that I've come to known for (the beer, the buzz, & the hangover), this month I'm writing as I drink. And I'm drinking Avery Brewing Company's anniversary beer, Twenty.

I had no clue what I was going to drink for this month's blog. But I knew that I wanted it to be an IPA. While in the beer store yesterday, my beer guy suggested Twenty. It's a double IPA that he told me was the original recipe for one of Avery's other well known DIPAs, The Maharajah. Who knew they even changed the recipe for that! Also, who knew that auto-correct would have Maharajah in its dictionary.
Whatever recipe Avery is using for Twenty, its a winner. Immediately upon opening the bottle the smell of hops filled the air. Pine and citrus and even a hint of weed. Avery takes their hops seriously. According to their website they used Amarillo, Bravo, Simcoe, and Cascade hops. Which probably explains the more pine bite to each sip as opposed to citrus. Although they blend well, the taste is sharp. And to a non-IPA fan, this would probably end up becoming a drain pour. But for someone such as myself, someone seeking out an IPA for IPA-sake, Twenty is good drinks!

There is also an element of heat to this beer. At 9.7% abv and being bottled just last month, it's safe to say that this beer is taking full potential of it's alcohol. Only 30 minutes and half of the bottle into drinking it (and writing this), I can feel the faint haze sitting in. In what I consider the "sweet spot" of drinking, its that buzz that reminds you why beer is fun. It tastes great and it makes you happy!
With about 3/4ths of the bottle finished, one thing that occured to me about this beer and it's taste, is that the bite from the hop is so intense that it leaves a slight stinging sensation on my tongue. I've had this same feeling with other IPAs and its always a welcome addition to the overall tasting experience. Beers like Lagunitas Hop Stoopid and Knee Deep's Citra are two that I can remember having similar effects. This "tongue-tingling" by no means means that this is the hoppiest or tastiest beer IPA I've come across. Just last night, I had the last Palate Wrecker from Green Flash for the season and even being several months old, that beer just oozes hop-intensity. I also had a fresh Pliny the Elder before that and it reminded me that that one really is one of the best IPAs available.

Bonus round! naturally, after feeling great from a 9.7% double IPA, I wanna keep the party going. But I don't want to overdo it. Nor do I want to open another IPA which will inevitably be compared to Twenty. Instead I went to the other side of the spectrum and pulled out a barrel-aged stout. And digging through my cellar, I pulled out a nice 12oz, bourbon barrel aged winner from Cincinnati, Listermann Brewing Cincinnatus Stout.
Considerably different from an IPA, this barrel-aged stout is pretty good. It's thick, sweet and has hints of vanilla coffee and oak. And ther eis the slightest hint of alcohol. I know some people refer to thick stouts as being "chewy", which I never get. It's a drink, it's liquid, how can you chew it? Even milkshakes aren't chewed...ever. That's just weird.

Cincinnatus was a great choice for a bonus beer. It's pretty easy to drink and is actually slightly less alcoholic than Twenty. At only (pfft, only) 9.5% abv, I don't feel like I'll regret this one in the morning. Choosing to blog about it WHILE I drink it though...that's another story...

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