Avant Peche is a beer I've been waiting a long time to try. Odell first announced this beer about four months ago but up until last week it was only available in Colorado. I happened to be in Boulder last week and picked up a bottle just as the Avant Peche was showing up on shelves back home. What excited me most about the Avant Peche was the style of this beer, it's an Imperial Porter that is barrel aged and blended with peaches. I've had a few peach flavored Wheat beers but never a Porter. This intrigued me because I've really enjoyed the two sour Porters I've had before and I was hoping the Avant Peche would be similar to those beers.
Odell makes good beer. Not many people who argue that point. The most frustrating and disappointing part of Odell's beers are their price point. Great beers aren't cheap to make, just look at the price tags on Dogfish Head and Russian River bottles. Actually, neither Dogfish or Russian River are available every where so not everyone may be aware of this, but it does bring up yet another point... Great beer is in great demand. $20 a bottle isn't unheard for a bottle of wine, in fact it's even considered a bargain in most circles. For beer however, $20 is a steep barrier to entry for most people. Some of Odell's more premium beers top out at $25 for a 750 at my local liquor store. Honestly, that's a little too premium for me. I'd love to try those beers but I can't commit at that price. This bottle of Deconstruction Golden Ale (which is a more modest $12 or $15 depending on your retailer) has just convinced me I need to save up for Odells highest tier of ales.
Being Kansas City based has its ups and down. While we get a lot of great Colorado craft beers, we aren't a big enough market to draw some of the more limited release beers those breweries produce. India Barleywine is one example brewed by Odell, a brewery who sent just about everything else out this way but for some reason didn't send this particular beer. I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of India Barleywine from the nice folks at Odell and am eager to give it a full review, so let's get to it shall we...
It's hard to believe this is the first Odell I've reviewed on this site... Odell is a brewery I really enjoy, I've had their Wheat, Scotch Ale and regular Pale Ale. I've enjoyed everything I've had from Odell so I had high expectations for the Isolation Ale. In the interest of full disclosure I should point out that I had a couple of these last year and I remember liking them quite a bit. This year was no different, I like the Isolation... but for reasons other than what I expected.