To follow the good advice of my fellow BrewHaHa writer Hanson Smith, this week I will be looking into a Colorado Microbrewery, the Boulder-based Avery Brewing Company and their Holy Trinity of Ales. These outrageously delicious and complex bombers will make your taste buds think these brews are a godsend, while their well-hidden, high alcohol content will please that little red guy sitting on your left shoulder. These are some damn bold ales.
The Holy Trinity of Ales is one of three continuous series by the Avery Brewing Company. As you might be able to guess, another one of their series is The Demons of Ales. The demons showcase darker ales with ridiculously high ABVs, such as the widely popular Mephistopheles Stout, coming in at 15-17 percent alcohol per volume. Even though it seems absurd to call The Holy Trinity of Ales more conservative, they are generally lighter in color and body but definitely not taste.
This holy trinity is comprised of The Reverend (a Belgian-style Quadruple Ale), Salvation (a Belgian-Style Golden Ale), and Hog Heaven (a Dry-Hopped Barleywine Style Ale that will easily pass for an Imperial Red Ale).
Let it be known that I am a hop fanatic. I rarely venture outside of the realm of IPAs and when I do, I usually regret it. I generally loathe Belgian beers and their sweet malty-ness. I need the bitter crispness of hops. However, I had heard such great things about these beers that I got over my fear of sugary caramel malts, and dove into these bad (or should I say divinely good) boys. I was far from disappointed.
To start, I cracked open The Reverend. It poured a murky, dark amber/brown color with a medium, white head that sticks around. The ale smelled strongly of sugary candy malts, which I must admit, scared my bitter-loving sensibilities. But after the first taste, I was more than relieved. I was amazed, actually. The multilayered complexity of this beer allows you to find new flavors sip after sip: cherries, toffee, sugary honey malts, a hint of yeast and chocolate, and an inkling of spice. For a beer that comes with an ABV of 10 percent, it hides its potency pretty nicely. However, the lingering body definitely lets your taste buds know that the alcohol is there. This one is the darkest and heaviest of the three. It is a good bold beer, but I still found it to be the least memorable of the Holy Trinity.
No longer holding my stigma against Belgian beers, I ripped the golden foil off the top of the Salvation, popped the cap, and poured the beer: a perfectly clear, golden color with little-to-no head. The aroma was overwhelmingly fruity and sweet. Let it suffice to say, I was more surprised that I adored this beer than I was surprised by the fact that I enjoyed The Reverend. It tasted of fleshy fruits, both very sweet and mildly sour, like a perfect peach or apricot. The malty body carries gracefully through the initial taste, a sinfully creamy indulgence, while somehow managing to end delightfully crisply at the same time. This complex brew even has subtle but rich hints of cinnamon and nutmeg sliding beneath its sweet and light body. Rather than the sugary malts of the beer lingering and accumulating with each sip, the surprising crispness of this brew keeps every sip brilliantly refreshing. Its ABV of 9 percent is completely unnoticeable, making this beer enjoyably dangerous. It’s light and creamy, sweet and tart, malty and crisp: one damn good beer.
After the first two beers, it was finally time to retreat to my hoppy home. Hog Heaven, or, as the description on the side of the beer posits “Hop Heaven,” is a monster of a beer. With an ABV of 9.2 percent and a staggering 104 IBUs, this is an unforgiving assault on the taste buds. It pours a beautiful, amber-red with no head and it smells like hops. Hops on hops on hops. Hops to the point of being obnoxious. The glory of this beer only begins in the initial bitter onslaught of hops. This beer, as with the rest, is layered with perfection. The taste is reared by the generous caramel sweetness of a variety of malts. It leaves a lingering bittersweet taste that begs the drinker to keep going. This is no IPA. It is a heavy beer, and you can feel and taste it. Somehow the magnificent brewmasters at Avery pull off making such a heavy beer crisp and refreshing. For any hop fanatic, this is a must try. This is easily one of my favorite beers and one I will keep buying over and over.
Now, these beers are not cheap. At just under $8 per 22 oz. bomber, they can drill holes in your pockets. However, the high alcohol content and the sheer excellence of these beers, in particular Salvation and Hog Heaven, make this indulgence a more than worthy investment. Plus, if you are tired of the Block 8 binge drinking mentality, one of these will get you to Cloud 9 while you sit back and watch all your friends take shots of Taaka.