Avery Sixteen: Summertime In a Bottle!

Well the folks at Avery have gone and done it again.  They have taken the flavors of the summer and bottled it for us all to get a taste.  I know what you are saying, how can you taste a season, and I agree it is difficult to explain, but I will try my best.  Last year Avery bottled their fifteen which was a farmhouse ale I really enjoyed, but this time they have outdone themselves.

Their (Sweet) Sixteen is their take on a Saison and its delicate complexity, light body, and full flavor take me away and magically transport me to a grassy meadow on a warm summer day, or the side of a mountain lake with the cool crisp breeze in the air.  This is a truly amazing and transformative brew…This beer even looks the part as it shines like the sun!  It is a bright golden yellow with a thin wispy head that quickly was dispatched.  There were tiny streams of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.

The nose was like a tropical fruit drink.  There were smells of pear, white grape, and pineapple that permeated the nose, along with a cloying little hint of yeast that gave a slight funk to the smell.

The flavor was just what you would hope.  It was light crisp refreshing fruity with that farmhouse yeast flavor as a great underpinning.  Like a bread bowl that holds the fruit cocktail.  Everything about this brew was flavorful and pleasing.

The ABV on this will kick you in the pants too.  It is 7.5% but like may tropical mixed drinks, you cannot find the alcohol in the flavor so you happily drink three or four glasses then realize you are smashed!  So be careful with this brew.

So far I’ve loved the Fifteen, flipped over the Sixteen, and the Seventeen just came out, but it is a black lager.  I’m afraid to try it for fear it won’t live up to the standard their last two anniversary brews have set.  I will try it, but probably not until the flavors of the Sixteen are but a distant memory, that way I can keep my love affair with Avery beers going for just a little while longer.


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Categories: Beer, review

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21 Comments on “Avery Sixteen: Summertime In a Bottle!”

  1. Rob Crozier
    July 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Saison has been my latest fave and have tried a few different ones in the last few weeks. I hope to find this one as I know that it is not being brewed any more. Thanks for the review!

    • Don
      July 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

      Its a real treat. I was fortunate enough to get a couple of pints at my local beer store before the keg blew. I also picked up a bottle for later. I loved this beer!

      • Rob Crozier
        July 22, 2010 at 7:55 am #

        Picked up a bottle of Sixteen last night…anxious to taste it. There were a few more bottles so if I like it I’ll head back and get more. I also saw Maharajah but didn’t buy it, next time.

    • Don
      July 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

      BTW Rob, long time no see around these parts. Have you been on vacation?

      • Rob Crozier
        July 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

        Yes, I was away for a bit. Took my own stash with me knowing I wouldn’t find them where I was staying (Lake George, NY). I was able to read your posts but my frame of mind was on taking it easy so I didn’t respond. BTW, the saisons I’ve tried over the last few weeks: Dupont, The Bruery’s Saison de Lente, Brooklyn’s Soriaci Ace and Ommegang’s Hennepin. My favorite has to be Dupont. I hope to find the Avery Sixteen and plan on picking up a few others I saw.

        • July 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

          Ha ha. I guess you categorize talking to us as “work.” I don’t blame you, Don is tiring to deal with! 😉

          How was the Sorachi Ace? I’ve passed it over a couple of times for no good reason (sorry Garrett!).

      • Rob Crozier
        July 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

        You guys are definitely entertaining and informative – it was me that was too lazy to type a comment.

        The Sorachi Ace was OK, nothing great in comparison to Dupont or Hennepin; it seemed to lack a good finish like the two beers mentioned above. They both started with a kick and ended with a bang.

        Love your posts about the TV show – I’m waiting until the last installment until I comment; its like holding the applause until the end.

        • July 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

          Nothing wrong with being too lazy to type. It happens to us every weekend. 🙂

          Thanks for the info on Sorachi. I’ve seen people rave, but those have mostly been Brooklyn fans, so I’ve taken it with a grain of salt.

  2. July 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Don, had this and liked it quite a bit. Not quite as much as some other Saisons I’ve had recently, but very good none-the-less. Also had the 17 on tap at Brewforia not too long ago. Equally as well crafted if not better. A totally different experience of course. Definitely give the 17 a go.

    FYI, I think I just missed you at Brewforia, yesterday.

    • Don
      July 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

      Shoot! It would have been nice to meet up accidentally. I’ll try the 17 too, but I’m a little afraid of the style. It sounds like a mashup that really won’t work. But I’ve been wrong before, so I will give it a try. What other saisons do you like better?

      • July 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

        Black lager works just fine I think and has for a while apparently. Read an article in All About Beer recently. Germans have been making black lagers or schwarzbiers since the middle ages. Style is gaining some traction with American craft brewers recently.

        Really liking the Goose Island Sofie, a very simple, elegant, champagne-like execution. Also the GDBC Saison is a steel at $4.99 for a bomber. Dupont is said to be the standard—not sure I’ve had enough to agree, but it is very good. Also had Boulevard’s Saison Brett recently, that had a lovely deep, earthy complexity too it that was very different and yummy.

        Really liking the saisons and farmhouse ales this summer, hope to drink more.

        The cool thing about Saisons is that by their very nature were historically made with whatever the farmer or local brewer had on hand. So there’s wide variety in this style. I think Fantome, for instance, still changes their recipe every year. Never know exactly what you’ll get when you pick up a Saison.

        • Don
          July 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

          I’ve had the Sofie and I can’t really get into it. Too much Belgian yeast flavor. Good but not great in my book. I’d like to try the Great Divide Saison. I think I might like that one. Also would love to try Dupont, but I haven’t seen that yet. I’ve had several schwarzbiers that were mighty tasty, but they weren’t black, they were an odd golden brown color. The only black lager I’ve had is the Full Sail Session Black, and I thought it was lousy.

      • July 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

        Come to think of it, I had the Full Sail black, too and was disappointed. But I haven’t really latched onto anything they’ve done. So, just blamed it on that, not the style per-se. Can’t get into their beers. And its been awhile but I’ve had a few of the brown schwarzbiers, too.

        Brewforia had the Dupont in for a week a while ago and it was gone. Hasn’t been in since. Co-op doesn’t ever get it. The GDBC Saison is a little rougher around the edges and doesn’t have the mouthfeel of the Sofie, but I think it’s a tad less yeasty. In that regard, you may prefer it.

  3. July 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Sadly today will be the last day that we have the Avery 16 on tap but we will still have bottles on hand for those interested in stopping in for one or picking one up on the website.

    • Don
      July 21, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      Rick, always the salesman! But this stuff really sells itself. I loved it. Can I lick out the Keg when it blows?

  4. July 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Don’t be scared of 17 Don, it’s good stuff. Enjoyed it. Welcome change from all these huge abv Anniversary beers a lot of the breweries put out.

    • Don
      July 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

      Well this puts seventeen firmly on the radar. I’ll check it out next time I’m in my Beer store.

  5. Matt
    July 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Great read! just found you guys through Avery’s post on facebook. I have not tried the Avery 16, but have tried the 17 and have one cellared, its good stuff…interested to see how it ages.

    As far as other Saisons go, Fantôme Printemps and Fantôme Saison are probably two of the most unique beers I’ve ever tasted, if you can find it get it. i liked Sofie a lot but i like Goose Island products in general. Saison Dupont, Boulevard Tank 7, Ommegang Hennepin, brasserie-dupont Foret, DFH Saison Du Buff are all amazing. I agree with Beerpoet, Saisons are pretty fun because you really don’t know what your getting yourself into and every single one i’ve tried has been completely different from the last.

    I guess i need to begin reading older blog posts now!

    • Don
      July 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

      Hey Matt, Great to have you aboard! Hope you enjoy what you see. We really enjoy doing this, it is a way for me and my little brother to stay connected across the 3000 miles that separate us. I really love saisons. I wasn’t crazy about Sofie, just because it has a particular belgian yeast strain that I don’t really enjoy, but I know a lot of people do, so good for them. I have a Hennepin at home that I will put in the fridge for consumption soon. I can’t get any of the Saison du Buffs out here in Idaho so I’m a little bummed about that. My understanding is that the Stone offering wasn’t great. I would expect the DFH and the Victory versions to be better.

      Enjoy, and feel free to comment. My brother Jim and I are pretty good about responding promptly. Have fun and I hope to see you around these parts a lot.

  6. Matt
    July 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Sorry i should have clarified, it was the Stone version i had. I liked it, just because it was different. I didn’t think the spices involved overpowered each other, it was balanced and interesting.

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

  7. July 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    This was good. I actually found a bottle of 15 floating around when I was in Indy…boy were the bretts big.

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