Brew Review: Collaboration not Litigation Ale

13 Dec

Brew: Collaboration not Litigation Ale

Brewed by: Russian River (Santa Rosa CA) & Avery Brewing Co. (Boulder CO)

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale (8.91% ABV)


This is a collaborative effort on the part of these two breweries, you could have probably guessed that from the name, but I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. How it played out is that each brewery has a brew called Salvation which they then combined and out came this brew. Russian River doesn’t make its way up here to the Great White North so I was pretty excited to try something that they had put their mark on. They being the makers of both Pliney the Younger and Elder, two of the most highly rated beers on the planet.

The beer poured out a semi-clear deep caramel color. It was a bit hazy/opaque, some light got through but you could tell there was a lot of stuff deep in this brew. There wasn’t much by way of head, it was sort of loose big bubbles of light mocha colored foam that disappeared fairly quickly.

The aroma on this beer was complex, there was a lot going on. The sweet malts carried their way up first followed by some Belgian yeasty funk that brought out the bananas and cloves that people always associate with Belgian brews. I also smelled some fruitiness, but not heavy dark fruits but more light, kind of like a white wine. Apples, pears that sort of thing. All together there was a lot going on.

The taste was a Belgian affair, the yeast showed up in a more pronounced role, not something I was expecting from a beer with that I would have thought would be dominated by the sweet sticky malts. The sweet malts show up right away with brown sugary tastes and caramel. The yeast then comes through with tons of Belgian flavors that are all over the place. There is also a slight boozy taste, this beast is almost 9% after all. As the beer warms it becomes more enjoyable, the flavors mellow out a little bit and the sweetness takes away that faint alcohol burn. The beer isn’t too heavy of a drinker either, it was more medium and less than what I was expecting from a Strong Dark Ale.

Overall, not super impressed, it was a good tasting brew but nothing really jumped out as unique or outstanding in any way.


Final Grade: B


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