You already know that Rev has arguably one of the best barrel programs in the nation right now, so let’s figure out if it is worth standing in line in 30 degree weather on some Kedzie loading dock. There are two new releases: Cuvee De Grace and Ten Year Beer.
Cuvee de Grace is a fantastic gateway drug for your friends who are malt-curious. The problem with this beer is that it wont get out of its own way in lending that sticky chocolate malt hand out to the uninitiated. Two thirds of this beer is fantastic underlying strong ale/barleywine roots. Then oh shit, here comes that one overbearing guy in every improve scene, dripping in bakers chocolate and fudge “NOW WE ARE ON THE MOON” and like god now we have to play out the reality of a cocoa barleywine. The underpinnings of this beer is such a delicate blend of caramel and prailines, planed boards and old fashioneds. It is tasty crème brulee that has chocolate fondant applied to it, gilding the dessert lily. I am not saying every ba beer needs to just be an old ale. I enjoy playful reliance on different profiles. The issue here is that this good beer leans on oatmeal and rye stouts and it’s what a freshman English professor would call “tonally inconsistent” albeit extremely well made.
Ten Year Beer shows that X is indeed gon give it to you. Don’t let this cherry poppin daddy fool you, it is a completely ensemble role. Rev has such a deft hand in nuance and never his the fruited center divider the way say, Goose Island will, in not trusting its consumers to taste the fruit, but not be cardholding GUSHERs party members. The cherry is delicate and this is that same Saharan-dry body we found in Code Switch. It’s exceptionally tight, dripping with cordial, sucrets, Sazerac notes, and some Willett meets Sucrets interplay. I would bet that some people wouldn’t even know that cherry was outright present if they weren’t outright searching for it. It is that restraint that Marty shows consistently in the blending. This is “The Favourite” for people who maybe wont dive deep into Yorgos Lanthimos catalogue, but you toss some saccharine Emma Stone cherries on the bill and suddenly you got a resale market.
Neither hit the fantastic heights of VSOJ or VSOR but Rev is in the unenviably coveted position of being contrasted against its own catalog. Their “pretty good” beers still destroy almost everything else. These are the type of crosses that Shaun Hill must bear, and no one feels sorry for them.
Also come see us at SF Sketchfest on Saturday 1/25/20 at the punchline, tickets still available