Today I have what is sure to be an interesting beer from the fine folks of Avery Brewing. I picked up this bottle at The Four Firkins and though it was released a number of months ago it should still be on the shelves of a number of places. Avery makes ever so many delicious brews and their anniversary ales tend to be even moreÂ adventurous and this time it is no different with this Dry-Hopped Black Lager. While Cascadian Dark Ales are the new hip thing a highly hopped dark lager is certainly a unique approach.
Pours a very dark brown hue that appears black and is completely opaque. Three fingers of tight tan bubbles are formed and slowly open and fade after about four minutes leaving a decent amount of lacing and some residual carbonation on theÂ surfaceÂ of the brew. Aroma is quite nice with lovely smooth dark malts, gentle roast, lager yeast esters, alcohol and surprisingly little hops (IÂ definitelyÂ noticed more hops when initially pouring the brew). Often lager yeast esters in lighter beers aren’t my favorite component, but the way they play with the dark malt in this brew creates a very well rounded and enjoyable aroma. Gentle citrus and floral notes are present in the flavor notably orange and grapefruit but are quickly dominated by roasted malt, dark malty sweetness and a slightly bitter finish with lingering citrus. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is lightly creamy. As the brew warms the flavor becomes mostly of semi sweet dark malt which brings out thoughts of chocolate and caramel even though the esters are very gentle bringing out an almost milky character. The hops continue to become more floral and earthy, particularly grassy which makes perfect sense considering it is brewed with Â Hersbrucker &Â TettnangÂ hops. Making me wonder where the citrus esters I initially noticed came from. Additionally as this brew was bottled in March it is a good example of why not to allow hoppy brews to age making me wish I had consumed it earlier to get its intended hoppy glory. At 8.69% ABV this brew is no joke but the solid dark malt profile easily hides it. Certainly not the most impressive brew I have had from Avery but anÂ interestingÂ and flavorful beer that wasÂ definitelyÂ worth trying. If you enjoy Dark Lagers and are looking for one with plenty of flavor and alcohol this is is a good choice. Give it a shot and ride your bike.