Avery Brewing Co.
Collaboration, Not Litigation
This is a special kind of beer. Brewed by Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River alongside Adam Avery of Avery, at the Avery Brewery, it is essentially a combo of each brewer’s Salvation, Belgian-style ales. Rather than fighting it out over who got rights to the name Salvation, they just teamed up and created this, hence the name. This is Batch #3, bottled February of 2009.
The pour is less lively than I thought, and the head retention is low, but the color is wonderful. A rich mahogany comes through with great clarity, and there are very deep amber tones when held to the light.
The nose is sweet and prune-like, with hints of apricot, cinnamon, and maybe a touch of gingerbread.
The mouthfeel is excellent, filling all corners of the palate. The alcohol strength (8.97%) is not as aggressive as the stone fruits on the nose might lead you to believe. The initial sip gives you a surprisingly creamy feel. This soon opens up to a crisp breadiness, and then a nice mix of mildly tart pear and chewy caramel.
The malt in this beer is lovely, and the first calm sips are almost like an English Pale. What amazes me about this beer is how mellow and soft it is, despite being a shade under 9%. Having a year in-bottle probably helped cool it down, and also allowed it to plumb more complex depths than you might initially pick up on. Each sip yields something slightly different: cocoa, vanillin, fruits, and even pepper.
This is a bottle to find and store away for a bit and then to enjoy with friends. It would pair very well with lamb, or chocolate. Probably not both together.