Thursday, July 3, 2008

Avery The Reverend review

Avery The Reverend Belgian QuadToday's beer comes from one of my favorite Colorado breweries - Avery Brewing Company. It also marks my first venture into Belgian Quads. Today I give you Avery The Reverend. Part of the Heaven and Hell series from Avery. This brew comes in a tall 22oz bomber bottle that's topped off in red foil. The figure on the label reminded me of Mr. Spock from Star Trek. I knew up front that this beer was to be respected as it weighed in at a hefty 10% ABV. This beer was loaded down with a ton of Belgian malts as well as a generous portion of dark Belgian sugars. Just a little something extra for the yeast to chew on.

This beer poured a deep amber color that yielded very little head. What head remained after the pour was thin and tan. This brew had been stored a bit cold in the fridge so I let it breathe a bit before imbibing. The glass quickly gathered a lot of condensation on the snifter. Once I wiped the sweat from the glass I could see that this brew was mostly clear with perhaps a slight chill haze. The initial aromas gave me a hint of fruit, perhaps cherries mixed with other spices with a definitive Belgian yeast aroma. There was a fair amount of malts detected in the smell as well.

The first taste was surprising as the higher alcohol gave it a bit of a medicinal taste yet without a warming burn. It is malty and mildly carbonated but not overly so. I was getting a sense of a flashback to their Avery Fifteen but without the funky brett taste. This quad was lightly bittered (just 10 IBU), but with a crisp dry finish. I got the feeling that this beer was in a class above the common beers. It sipped like a foreign brew, yet with an American twist.

Avery's web site described this beer as having hints of dark cherries, currants, and molasses, complimented by an underlying spiciness. I detected the cherries, but I don't eat currants often enough to tell you what that tastes like. As for molasses, I'd probably not describe it that way. I'd give that distinction to more of the darker and thicker stouts rather than in this Quadrupel ale. This beer tasted a tad sweet, yet I drank it with just a bit of discretion. First because it was high alcohol and second, the taste was just spicy enough to make me want to drink it slowly.

Seeing how this was my first adventure with a Quad, I'll hold off making any rash scoring decisions on this brew. While I felt that this beer was made well I'll also have to wait until I've tasted a couple others to pass final judgment. Still, I'll give this beer a modest 3.3 out of 5 initially but will remind myself to revisit this beer again once I've had a chance to try others of this style.

Related articles:
- Avery White Rascal review.
- Avery Salvation review.
- Avery Hog Heaven review.
- Avery The Czar Imperial Stout review.
- Avery Redpoint Ale review.

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