Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Avery Review #18 - The Reverend

Posted by: Tyler Rippeteau

Oct. 31, 2012

Well, we’re cranking through these last few beers of The Avery Project.  #16 and #17 were ticked off over the past couple of days, making #18, Avery’s The Reverend, our third beer review in three days.  This was more like the pace I imagined when I first began this project…over a year ago, but what are you gonna do?

As the second beer in the “Holy Trinity of Ales Series”, this is one of the three Avery bombers that you can be sure to find year-round at any liquor store that carries Avery products.  It is also almost always available in the Taproom, so The Reverend is another Avery beer that I am fairly familiar with already and a lot of you Avery fans out there probably are as well.  Until now, however, I have never given it the proper attention it deserves for a full review.  I know I have always enjoyed it, so I am anticipating some solid numbers here, but let’s see what I find:

Location: Ace Wine & Spirits, Boulder, CO
Cost: $7.99/22 oz. bomber
ABV: 10%
IBUs: 24
Brewery Location: Boulder, Colorado
Style: Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale
Average Beer Advocate Rating: B+/3.82 – Very Good
My Beer Advocate Rating: A-/4.13 – Excellent
Current Number of Reviews on Beer Advocate: 738
Brewery Description: Avery The Reverend
Bottled: NA

APPEARANCE:  (4.5 out of 5) Nice, Barleywine-like mahogany in color, the Reverend appears to be every bit as strong as the 10% ABV and its categorization as a Belgian Quad would suggest.  The head is off-white, a solid half-inch and stuck around for a good two minutes or so after the pour, settling into a patchwork cap of different sized bubbles resembling a topographical map.  A nice lacing developed when the head dropped and it stayed intact throughout the glass.

SMELL:  (3.5 out of 5) The Reverend has the aroma of richness.  Banana and clove are strong up front with caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits rounding out the smell and providing that richness.  If the aroma were stronger this would get a higher rating.

TASTE:  (4 out of 5) The big caramel and molasses flavors build throughout the sip.  They start out strong and just keep getting stronger.  Booziness is present, but the sweet flavors make it dangerously easy to deal with.  As the beer warms brown sugar, banana and clove present themselves while bready flavors and a touch of roasted malt tie everything together.  Finally, for a purely Sterling hopped brew, The Rev has a decently bitter and hoppy finish.  The only real difference between this and a Barleywine is that there is a little more spice characteristic, some earthy funkiness and less hop character.

MOUTHFEEL:  (5 out of 5) The medium to big body pairs well with the medium carbonation here giving this beer a…well…for lack of a better word…a gulpable feel.  Not that I endorse that, but it really goes down quite easily and it is the kind of thing you want to take big sips of.  It’s like a good dessert that isn’t super sweet, but just sweet enough that it makes it tough to stop eating.  This is the beer equivalent of that; smooth and exceptionally easy to put down.

I have to say, I never noticed this about The Reverend, but then again, this is the first time I have taken the time to focus on it.  While I cannot quite give it 5s in other categories, there is no doubt that it gets a 5 in the mouthfeel department.  This struck me as odd at first, but after checking out some other reviews it is clear that I’m not the only one who feels this way. 

OVERALL:  (4.5 out of 5) I am really happy that I took the time to review this beer.  I typically only drink it when I am in the taproom and I want to introduce a visiting friend to some of Avery’s lineup.  I’ll almost always get a taster of The Rev to share because so many people have such a good reaction to it, but I rarely take the time to appreciate it myself.  That will most certainly change on my next trip.

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