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Beer #113 – April 26, 2010: Collaboration Not Litigation Ale

July 1, 2010

Beer: Collaboration Not Litigation Ale

Brewery: Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, Colorado AND Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, California

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Serving Type: 750 ml bottle – Batch #4

Price: $7.99 / bottle

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Goblet

Strength: 8.91% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Complex, interesting, delicious… in a word, amazing!

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep caramel-brown with a thin foamy white head

Aroma: Chocolate-covered, rum-dipped plum, with a slight note of tangy yeast

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation

Taste: Initial flavors of caramel and cocoa powder are followed by tangy and tart under-ripe plum, golden raisin and earthy carob notes.  A sudden spicy green peppercorn snap brings me to an elderflower syrup finish with hints of walnut and funky blue cheese.  Very complex, extremely interesting, and better with every sip.

Pairing: With all the flavors going on in this brew, I’d just enjoy it all on its own.

Trivia: Both Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing had brewed their own Belgian-style ales with the name “Salvation”.  In most industries, two products with the same name would lead to a bitter court battle, with one party ultimately losing the rights to the name (i.e. litigation).  Instead, in the relatively friendly world of craft beer, both brewers decided not only to allow the other to continue using the name, but that to prove the true cooperative spirit of their industry, they would blend the two respective “Salvation” ales to creating a single beer that would “catch the best qualities of each and create an even more complex libation” (i.e. collaboration).  After my tasting, I’d have to agree that they succeeded.

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