Okay, so this isn’t JUST for Stoutmeister and Brandon … but this is a new regular series to highlight those special new beers that only make seasonal, yearly, or one-off appearances in our local breweries and fine beer stores. Whether local or from some of the far reaches of the country or even world, we’ll drink it! Read on for the latest on those special beers. This week, the spotlight is on Tweak from Avery Brewing Company. Snootchie Bootchies!
WHO: Tweak Barrel Aged Stout from Avery Brewing Company, 17.81% ABV
WHAT: A double/imperial stout brewed with coffee and aged in bourbon barrels.
WHY YOU SHOULD DRINK IT: Because it’s like being in a circle pit with 100 other bearded guys with tattoos while Pantera plays “F***in’ Hostile” in beer form. You will be hard pressed to find another beer that gives you the massive flavors that Tweak will. Proceed with caution, though.
If you are a regular reader of our site (or just one of those who tolerates the barrage of posts from us on Facebook … we still love you either way), you probably read the recent news that beers from Avery Brewing Company have made their way back to retailers here in the Land of Enchantment. If you didn’t, go read it … I’ll wait … caught up? Good. Because Avery Brewing has been a staple of the Colorado craft beer scene since 1993. Up until about five years ago you could wander into you local fine beer retailer and find their offerings waiting for you on the shelves. However, things went dark and our supply here in New Mexico was cut. Thankfully a new distribution deal was reached and Avery was able to supply their brews (you can currently find them at Jubilation Wine & Spirits for those in the ABQ area). This was great news to many; it got even better with the fact that Avery recently sent a supply of Tweak here to New Mexico!
Tweak is part of Avery’s barrel-aged series, an extremely limited, one-off series of beers that appear, kick your ass, and vanish into the night. This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of coffee and put into bourbon barrels for a four-month nap; what emerges could be described as the beer equivalent of a sleeping giant. Pouring a jet black with a tan/mocha-colored head that laces beautifully, the aromas are almost overwhelming at first: slight roasted malt, plenty of fresh-brewed coffee, vanilla, and oak notes from aging. The mouthfeel on Tweak is smooth, but punchy. In terms of flavor this is an onslaught: more vanilla, tons of dark chocolate and bakers chocolate, caramelized sugars, vanilla notes, slight licorice, and slightly smokey malts. The coffee isn’t quite as prominent, but with everything else going on I couldn’t really ask for any more. Definitely boozy in the middle and finish, but not as bad as I would have imagined from an 17.81-percent ABV (HOLY !$#@) beer.
Times before I have stated that beers were not for the weak at heart, but this one almost made me tap out. It kicked my ass, took my lunch money, and gave me an atomic wedgie. That much chocolate, oak, coffee, and vanilla has not been seen in a single beer for some time. A few times between sips I found myself saying “this is almost too much,” but I was quickly slapped in the face by another burst of flavor from the next sip. Now, I do have to give a disclaimer: THIS BEER IS RIDICULOUSLY LIMITED! Jubilation Wine & Spirits was lucky enough to get some in stock; as of this writing on Tuesday night, they were getting dangerously close to the end of the line with their supply, so run and pick it up while it you can. Tweak hurts in the best way possible.
Until next time …
— Brandon Daniel