Friday, November 15, 2013

Beer Review: Barrel-Aged Rise

Reviewing the Barrel-Aged Rise from Revolution Brewing Company out of Chicago, Illinois.

Score: 87

Tap pour served in a 5 oz taster glass. Enjoyed on 08/21/13.

Appearance: Slick black color, shiny. Served with virtually no head save for a mechanical pencil thin, tan colored ring around the glass. Poor lacing and retention. My friend's full pour in 10 oz snifter did not feature better lacing. 3.5/5

Smell: Heavy on the sweet barrel and caramel-bourbon character. Faint notes of piney hops, cocoa and vanilla. Residual mintiness and oak too. Mostly just bourbon barrel on the nose. 3.75/5

Taste: Sweet, but not cloying, barrel flavors take the center stage on the palate. Smooth bourbon, caramel, vanilla and some roast/oak too. The barrel flavors dominate the finish and linger. Complementary, but not prominent or dominant, mint flavor without the menthol coldness on the midpalate. Virtually no hops here, which probably is for the better. As the beer warms up, the finish gets much more complex. I get added notes of chocolate, cherry and a little tobacco flavor in the finish. The long-lasting, lingering flavors here mingle and integrate pleasantly on the tongue. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, minimal carbonation. Has a watery-slickness to it. Sweet, but not cloying. 3/5

Overall: Although this is an above average beer with good flavor, it is very nondescript for a Rev Brew's barrel aged project. I enjoyed this brew more as it warmed up and had a chance to breath. Barrel-Aged Rise shares many of the bourbon-forward flavor qualities that most of Rev Brew's Woodford Reserve-aged dark beers have, and I doubt that I would be able to pick this out blind from say Mean Gene. Rev Brew has pretty much mastered getting bourbon-forward flavors into their beers through barrel aging without picking up any harsh booziness in the process; I just wish they would start using better quality barrels and experimenting a bit more.

Cost: $5 for a 5 oz taster, $8 for a 10 oz snifter.

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