Challenging ebony-hued Russian-styled stout brings whiskey malt palate to dry chocolate-raisin confluence before sherry, bourbon, and port nuances drape black cherry, black currant, and red grape surge. Raspberry puree and rum cake illusions reinforce brown sugar glaze and burnt wood bottom, deepening alcohol pungency.
Interestingly, Cali’s Russian River and Colorado’s Avery brewery’s both had rival Salvation ales in stock. Instead of litigating for brand name, the reputable microbreweries jointly crafted an alcohol-ridden intricacy. Candi-sugared Belgian yeast sweetens initial dried fig-raisin-date splurge, bruised banana-orange midst, and tertiary cherry-strawberry-peach twinge. At oak-aged brandy-like finish, dark rum-spiced cinnamon-clove-nutmeg illusions and vanilla bean-chicory notes find solace amongst fruity lucidity.
Magnificently bold Belgian-styled ruby red ale offers syrupy molasses-butterscotch sweetness to honeyed brandy-rum warmth, completely overriding initial vinous oak-aged cherry waft. Poised orange-bruised cherry puree mellifluence and subordinate fig-date souring infiltrate capacious sugared malt incursion of brain-twisting barleywine-finishing 14.9% alcohol knockout.
Luminous auburn-clouded bock registers up-front burgundy wanderlust furthered by musty Muscat grape pungency, leathered banana-clove perk, cotton-candied bubblegum sweetness, rich plum-prune tartness, mild grape skin tannins and dewy cellar fungi. Perfumed hop insistence delicately nudges honey nut-roasted pale-crystal malting and sweet toffee-butterscotch-vanilla subsidy, culminating in creamy barleywine resonance. Not as heavily alcoholic as stronger doppelbocks, yet rich, assertive, stimulating.
Beware highly explosive carbonation of cloudy, beige-headed, yeast sediment-laden Bavarian double bock. Intensely creamy milk chocolate malting, dense brown sugar richness and remedial bourbon-rum-sherry swell reach beguiling barleywine climax. Midway, floral hop vivacity pushes forward fig-plum incline and lively coriander-clove-ginger spicing to medicinal finish of endlessly complex, slow sipping, alcohol-burned digestif. Eloquent, indeed.
As refreshing and cleansing as the Jersey Shore wave depicted on the label, Avalon remains a solid-bodied ale perfect with dinner. Roasted barleymalts thicken steadfast bitter hop aftertaste. Mighty fine brew manages to be both lean and filling.