Saturday, August 25, 2012

Avery Review #13 - Karma Belgian Pale Ale

Posted by: Tyler Rippeteau

Aug. 24, 2012

For Review #13 of The Avery Project we have another standard brew from the Boulder-based brewer.  Although Avery Karma is not a year-round beer, when it is released, it is pretty widely available.  So, unlike some other brews I’ve had to track down for this project, the Karma only required a short trip to my local liquor store.

Location: Boulder Liquor Mart
Cost: About $1.89/12oz. bottle
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 10
Brewery Location: Boulder, Colorado
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Average Beer Advocate Rating: B/3.4
My Beer Advocate Rating: B-/3.2
Current Number of Reviews on Beer Advocate: 445
Description: Avery Karma
Glassware: Avery 19th Anniversary Tulip
Bottled On: NA

APPEARANCE:  The slightly hazy Karma is a deep, rich orange; a very good looking color.  What little head there is at first disappears quite quickly leaving a thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass.  Only a few very small patches of lacing appear on the glass.

SMELL:  The aroma here is nice and citrusy with a solid dose of grassiness.  Some light bready characteristics are noticeable as well along with a touch of sweetness.

TASTE:  This is a rare example of a beer in which the taste does not follow the flavor.  Some of the citrus from the nose, a little lemon and maybe a touch of grapefruit are there, but the dominant flavor is a slightly tart, green apple.  A faint clove flavor rounds this beer out before a slightly sour finish.

MOUTHFEEL:  Light in body, a mild pucker is the highlight of the mouthfeel here, but it shows up towards the end of the sip.  Early on, the Karma is crisp, clean and very sparkly.  Oddly, the pucker seems to subside as the beer warms.

OVERALL:  Avery’s Karma is an interesting example of a Belgian-style Pale Ale.  The mouthfeel is outstanding, and it is quite refreshing, but unlike many, many other Avery beers, the Karma is not an example of pushing the limits of the style or of experimentation.  Rather, this is a fairly conservative take and something that seems as though it was created less to be thoroughly enjoyed by beer lovers and more to be accepted by a wide audience of occasional beer drinkers.  That’s not necessarily a terrible thing, and this beer was enjoyable, but it seems like an odd approach from a brewery like Avery.  All in all, it’s good beer, but not Avery’s best. 

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