Avery & Russian River Collaboration Not Litigation Ale: Brewed to a strength of 8.9% abv, this collaboration ale personifies what I love about the majority of craft brewing culture, their ability to collaborate, help each other out and creatively solve issues. You see the story behind this ale is that both Avery and Russian River Brewery brewed a beer called Salvation, something they both realized in 2004 at the Great American Beer Fest. Instead of taking the usual “let’s sue each other” route, they decided to blend the beers together and rename it Collaboration Not Litigation Ale. Part of this stemmed from the fact that both of the head brewers were good friends and the rest just turned out to be a wickedly cool idea for a beer. I have been keeping my eye out for this one for a couple years now, so I was pretty excited to finally get my hands on a bottle.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a dark amber colour with one finger of off white foam and minimal carbonation. The aroma is full of toffee, with over ripe banana and fruity plums coming through quite strongly and hints of clove, brown sugar and orange peel made their presence known in more subtle terms.
Flavour: Immediately it boldly boasts notes of anise, allspice, ripened banana and cloves up front before mellowing into some sweet agave, pepper spice and coriander in the middle of the beer. As the spices dissipate, flavours of dried plums, raisins, molasses and brown sugar dominate the finish while bits of coriander and chili pepper spice flare up on the aftertaste, creating a palate arousing warming sensation in the back of your throat.
Overall Impression: I love it when a beer surprises me and this one had an awesome flavour on the aftertaste that was quite sensational.
Rating: I give it an excellent rating of 8.5/10, a great beer with a cool backstory and a nice complex flavour profile.
Food Pairing: This would be wonderful with some bacon wrapped dates or some dried salty figs to bring out extra flavour in the beer.
Here’s a picture of the original beers that were blended together to make this one, which has been brewed annually since 2006 at Avery’s brewery (they brew both beers and blend them).