765: Collaboration Not Litigation

765 - Collaboration Not LitigationName: Collaboration Not Litigation
Brewery: Avery Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Boulder, Colorado
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8.91%
First Brewed: 2007
Price: $7.99

Tasting Notes
In a young batch of Collaboration, nutty caramel sugar and dark fruits from the Russian River contribution dominated. As the beer spends time in the bottle, orchard fruits and spicy hops (seemingly from Avery) assert themselves and an integrated beer emerges.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I have never had this beer nor have I seen this beer. When we lived in Indiana we could get Avery beers pretty regularly, but they are not distributed to Arizona. This is also the last Avery beer on our list. This beer is a collaboration with Russian River, a brewery that makes some pretty incredible beers but also doesn’t distribute to Arizona. You actually can only get their beers in the Russian River Valley.

I tend to like Belgian dark ales, so I am excited to try this. Cool story about how it became “golden,” though. I like Avery and I LOVE Russian River, so chances are this is going to be a good beer. Cheers!

In the Glass: As I am pouring this, I can already smell the sweetness. Man, I can’t wait to drink this! Maybe I can hurry through my nose notes! In the glass, it is quite clean for a Belgian dark strong, but it has a nice thick head producing a creamy lace. The beer also has a ton of tiny bubbles in it, but I am not worried about the carbonation on this one. I can already smell it, but let me stick my nose in the glass and see what I come up with.

Nose: It’s sweet, but it has a weird metallic flavor going on. I wonder if the brewmaster from Russian River needs to start going back to Boulder to make sure this beer is on pace. I am curious, too, how that works… Does he get a case of bottles to try before it goes out each year? Anyway, the beer does have the sweetness that I expect from this style, but that weird copper aroma is creeping me out. I bet that goes away as this heats up. Now for the moment of truth!

Flavor: I am drinking this cold, so that might change my overall opinion of the beer. Perhaps I will take a sip now, and then let the second half of the glass sit so I can let it warm up a little bit. OK, here goes nothing.

That’s sweet. I mean, I just ate a piece of cake sweet. GOD I love a good sweet thick chewy beer. This is slowly becoming one of my favorite styles, as they are all sweet and are all so different in terms of what the beer offers. There isn’t a lot of complexity here, but it’s cold. I bet the flavor really comes out as it heats up.

There is a book on the label, so let me go write that and come back. I bet the beer changes as it heats up. Be right back.

OK, I am back. I was right. The sweetness really starts to open up and you begin to taste those Belgian candied sugars. It is almost like licking a sugar cube. I would love to be a fly on the wall when they brew a batch of this. I would also love to try a different batch to see how it stacks up. This bottle if Batch #4. If there is a bottle of Batch #1 out there, let us know. I want to try it!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thick and sweet, and has a lovely finish. Even when I swish this around in my mouth it doesn’t have many bubbles. I will say, when I move it around in my mouth, more fruity flavors are coming out. You would also never know this was 8% ABV.

Aftertaste: There isn’t much going on here. Those sweet candied sugars are sticking around, but it isn’t a bottle I could spend 2 hours with. I do want to grab a bottle from each brewing company and do a side by side comparison.

This is a great beer. I would like to try this on tap, too. You know, this beer might actually produce several more purchases. I want to try both the Salvation from Avery and the Salvation from Russian River, I want to try this on tap, AND I want to have all prior batches. Avery is a good brewing company and Russian River the same, and this is a great collaboration. Love it!

Collaboration Not Litigation – The bottle says: “Salvation. The name of two Belgian-inspired ales, created by us, Vinnie Ciluzo of Russian River Brewing and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing. After becoming friends a few years ago, we realized we had a Salvation in our lineups. Was it going to be a problem? Should one of us relinquish the name rights? “Hell, no!” we said. In fact, it was quickly decided that we should blend the brews to catch the best qualities of each and create an even more complex and rich libation. In April 2004, in a top secret meeting at Russian River Brewing (well, actually it was packed in the pub and many were looking over our shoulders wondering what the hell was going on), we came up with the perfect blend of the two Salvations. Natalie, Vinnie’s much more significant other, exclaimed, “We should call this Collaboration, not Litigation Ale!” “Perfect,” we shouted. We celebrated deep into the night (or is it morning). Fast forward to November 14, 2006. After talking about it for two more years, we finally decided to pull the trigger and Vinnie made the journey to Avery Brewing to brew his Salvation exactly as he does at his brewery. This was blended with Avery’s Salvation on December 11, 2006 creating Batch #1 – here is Batch #4. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed brewing and blending it. All profits from this joint venture will fund a return educational trip to Belgium with our bros Tomme (Port Brewing), Sam (Dogfish Head Brewing) and Rob (Allagash Brewing). This pilgrimage will enable us to learn even more about traditional techniques to combine with our already strange and unique styles here in America. Gezondheid! Brewed with water, imported malted barley and wheat, Belgian candy sugar, turbinado sugar, hops, and two authentic Belgian yeast strains.”

I told you it was a book! I am just glad the beer is good.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Well, I am finally caught up on posting the reviews for our last few beers. I have also posted Podcast #4. I am excited that we have made it through this many. We have fun doing them, and I hope we can keep it up. Anyway… moving on! We are ready to do another beer. Let’s talk about this one.

It actually looks really good in the glass. We are using tulip glasses for this one, and the beer is cold. It’s very thick, and I can’t see through the glass at all. There’s not much head, which is ok with me. The beer is a molasses brown color. It kind of reminds me of molasses, as thick as it looks. It looks very even, chilling the glass as it is. I can see the “sweat” on the glass. This beer smells really good, too. It smells sweet and sugary, and a little bit fruity. Very rich. It makes me think of brown sugar, which goes along with the molasses thing. I’m excited to try a sip of this.

Mmm. This is good. It is a little more carbonated than I expected, but doesn’t taste super carbonated. I guess it’s just hard to see any bubbles floating with how thick the beer is. It does kind of taste like brown sugar. It’s got kind of a barley wine taste to it. Or maybe it’s an old style ale. I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s pretty good. Definitely one I’d pick up again.

Rating: 4/5

764 bottles of beer on the wall…

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