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Crystal-Hero | Revolution Brewing Company

50 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Revolution Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A crisp and refreshing IPA exploding with fresh hop character, named for a somewhat forgotten yet amazing hop variety named Crystal.

Added by MasterSki on 05-09-2013

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 503
Photo of BEERchitect
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The hero of a beer that is the Anti-Hero by Revolution brewer takes a dedicated and decisive taste with the exclusive use of often underrated Crystal hop varietal. The taste that ensues celebrates the hop in all its floral, grassy and spicy glory.

Nearly brilliant copper upon the eye, the beer's ecru swath of foam is somewhat short and light on its sheeting action. But as the bubbles pop, the nose fills with a full-on bouquet of floral and citrus flower arrangements. Honeysuckle, rose and candied orange bleed into a caramelized sweet taste with the light toastiness of graham cracker and chestnut.

While the beer retains a thin caramel sweetness across the middle palate, the hops trend less floral and more spicy to eventually take command of the session. The light leafy character of verbena and whittled citrus lends an herbal, tea-like spiciness to the beer that extends into a spicy bitterness that's somewhat lager-like but with strong citrus undertones.

Medium-bodied but with a crisp, snappy finish, the flavors tighten considerably before the after-palate hits. As grassy, spicy hops grapple with the throat, a light ferrous character assists in the beer's refreshing and dry finish with an aftertaste of lemongrass and paradise seed. Where the education of Crystal hops is greatly appreciated, the outcome of most single-hop bitters result in a one-dimensions, albeit focused character.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can. Pours clean deep golden color with thick white head, fades slowly leaving tons of lacing. Mild tropical fruit aroma. Nice tropical fruit and toasted malt taste well balanced with dank piney floral hops. Lingering floral bitterness. Thin to medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a beautiful hazy golden orange body with a solid finger of just off-white dense foam, which is already lacing as it recedes slightly. Steady streams of carb fill the body. Leaves nice lace rings after each quaff.

Smell - wonderful tropical nose of pineapple, mango and kiwi, with some faint floral notes in the back. Gets pretty dank and resinous as it warms, in a great way.

Taste - Very much like the nose, this is a tropical bomb - strong pineapple, mango and kiwi.. and just when you think it's a bit overly sweet there is a rush of floral hops that add just to balance, followed by a gently carb scrub that allows a bit of grapefruit pith and dried peach pit to finish things off.

Mouthfeel - This is just short of medium, the flavors are bold and assertive but are kept a bit light and in check by a smooth and slightly prickly carb that cleans things up just enough. Fluffy is too harsh a description but the mouthfeel is wonderful and slightly light, but not watered down in the least.

Overall - Just an excellent IPA. With nearly the boldness and assertiveness of a DIPA this surely won't disappoint. If you like a good tropical IPA then this one is a must.

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Photo of jlindros
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Neat idea, love that they are canned, def a forgotten hop that could be good or could be meh. Canned 5/5/16, little over a month old.

Nice creamy frothy 1 finger head fades at a med pace, decent lacing, clear slight haze honey orange color.

NOse brings some fruity aromas, a little citrus, generic vine fruit and a little resin notes, a bit grassy earthy and spicy hop as well, with a sweet copper toasted malt base.

Taste brings sweet caramel malts, toasted copper malts with a little biscuit even, a hint of booze warmth and ester profile (prob where the vine fruit came from in the nose), into hops, a little candied hop, candied orange peel, a little citrus zest, into a touch of pine with earthy grassy hops, esters bring a touch of banana even which is a bit weird in this one. Then finish is a bit drier and sticky, more toasted copper malt, fruity ester notes, citrus fruity hops with a little spicy earthy hop lingering and fair bitterness.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb, faint booze warmth.

Overall eh, hops are Ok at best, too much malt, too much booze warmth and ester profile that doesn't seem to fit well with this beer, all around weird flavor profile.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a transparent orange amber with a huge, fluffy off white head that sticks around forever but leaves no lacing. Smell is sweet and bready malts along with pine and citrus. Taste is the same. Well balanced but kind of muddled. Feel is medium and resinous. Overall not bad, but I liked Galaxy Hero quite a bit more.

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Photo of tigg924
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap. Pours hazy, orange-brown in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is pine, grapefruit, and tangerine. Heavy bodied for the style with a sharp bitter aftertaste. Really tasty IPA that I would gladly pick up again even though I prefer others in the hero series.

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Photo of mickyge
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

fairly clear dark yellow or copper like appearance. Thin head and a slight citrus floral aroma. carbonated mouth feel with floral hints. Really good balance between hop, malt and carbonation. Mild bitter finish that lingered a bit. I feel this is a great summer IPA it is very drinkable and refreshing. I had one after cutting the lawn and it went down easy and hit the spot. I'm starting to really like Revolution beers.

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Photo of krh
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Maybe it's the Crystal hops, but this one has less taste than I expected. Lighter and more lemony than grapefruit. A mild IPA from Revolution - who knew?

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Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid copper color and nearly clear. Tiny head that becomes rim bubbles. It leaves a blanket of lace, though.

Weedy and piney aroma. Prickly but attractive.

Good balance of mildly toasted malted barley and peppery hop bitterness. Good body with an elevated carbonation level. Bitter finish with a long lasting aftertaste.

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Photo of LAp
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip glass. Pours a clear almost-copper with an aggressively rising two-finger, tan head. The nose is classic Revolution, with a good mix of hop presence (both pine and citrus) and malt sweetness. This beer is noticeably more tropical than Anti-Hero, but doesn't go to the extremes that were so popular a year ago - the nose is most dominantly kiwi, with orange and pine taking a back-seat to lighter, less acidic fruits. The palate opens with a juicy kiwi, orange, and hints of pineapple, and develops into a more piney finish with malty undertones (though not as substantial of a malt backbone as is to be found in Anti-Hero, and that modification suits the beer well). The palate is medium-light, with reasonable carbonation, but not as heavy as Anti-Hero despite having a higher ABV. Overall, an excellent addition to the Hero lineup, and beer that avoids being merely a rehash of Revolution's other IPAs, but instead annexes its own separate niche within the hop spectrum.

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like the other hero's, this is a winner. Revolution takes pride in making these heroic brews special.

This is a deep gold color, almost red. There is loads is lacing. Very nice. The aroma is unique, fresh sweet smell. The taste is meltier than expected. The can was 23 days old. It is a hop dominated taste, but not overly dominant. The crystal hops most be a bit milder than some. It finishes sweet - very much so for the style.

This is a very tasty and refreshing brew. Highly recommended. I wish I had more.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Clear orange body, with a white head, lots of lacing.

S - Tropical fruit notes, mango, peach, mildly pine, a hint of lemon.

T - The fruit is in the open, with a middle of bright sweetness, and a moderate bitter close.

M - Very mild drying in the close.

O - This is a delicious beer. Lots of bright fruit, full of sweetness, rich malt, and a very nice close that is neither harsh or brutal. Lovely.

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Photo of barczar
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very floral aroma, becoming grapefruit citrusy, lime. Caramel malt is evident.

Flavor is caramel malt dominant, with a lightly citrusy hit mid palate, finishing earthy and moderately bitter.

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Photo of soze47
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this series - the hero base is an excellent platform for the two hop-specific versions I've tried. The look is dark side of orange and almost light brown. Nose has the crystal notes - floral first, spicy linger, with good malt support. Taste is rather smooth - malt support again glides this along well letting hop barrage play. Each drink allows for different notes - floral, spicy, grapefruit rind and very slight pine. Linger is heavier on the spice and slight resin. Great beer.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color. Aroma is hoppy and a touch sweet. Flavor is hoppy with a touch of bitterness that's balanced by the malts. Drinks pretty easily with a nice mouthfeel and overall it's a nice IPA.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Straight from the bomber into my cup. A very drinkable IPA w/ a great overall combinations of flavors and just enough hoppiness to satisfy those taste buds. Great citrus taste to get any night started. Well done as always Revolution!

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a clear golden orange with a two-finger foamy white head. The head lingers to a small ring leaving light spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is orange, tangerine, and floral hops.

T - The taste starts with strong flavors of orange, tangerine, and lemon. There is a decent amount of caramel malts to round out the flavor. The finish has a heavy amount of the Crystal hops. There is a lingering bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - This is my first all Crystal hopped beer and it is damn nice. The flavors are well rounded and balanced. Definetly recommended.

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Photo of exposd
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This brew has notes of lemon zest, peaches, and citrus hoppiness on the nose and on the tongue. It's my first time knowingly drinking a beer brewed with crystal hops hence the name "Crystal Hero" and this beer has a lot of bitter on the front end while notes of the fruit and light vanilla or carmel notes shine through on the after taste. Even thought it's a bitter beer, it's still very drinkable while having a light crispy flavor that's nice for hot weather summer drinking.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Powdery American hop resins that remind me of fresh cut tangerine, orange, and lemon peel. A bit of stone fruit as well. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Amber colored pour with golden edging. Low off white head that retains well.

Flavor: Wonderful peach, tangerine, and orange zest flavor abounds! There is a definite American C hop bitterness that serves as a foundation to all the citrus fruit flavors. Balance it to the hop bitterness. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste lingers with resiny bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. No heat, astringency, or creaminess noted.

Overall impression: A lovely showcase of citrus flavors expressed in this well crafted American IPA. Full disclosure: Anti-Hero is one of my favorite IPA's. This hop showcase of my favorite beer only furthers my enthusiasm for Revolution as a great brewery. Well done!

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Photo of mjc3151
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the 1ZENUFF right before this. I have to say I enjoyed that beer more. However, this was still very good. Definitely a unique taste given the hops used.

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Photo of treeslothguy
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours with two finger head with ok lacing.
Smells tangerine citrus ..maybe lavender however that smell fades quickly then I get bread and malt
Tastes is almost non exist up front then in the back piney resin as well as the grapefruit on the back....
In my opinion it's just another ipa nothing special and either the 2 bomber I got were bad or my taste buds are out of whack. Not sure why the 90 plus rating I'd put this at no better than 80.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big sweet, honeyed notes here within this heavily hopped IPA. The overall feel is over ripe mango with some pineapple in there and caramel on the back end. The malt backend holds up well. Boozy bite comes in here, this is a big bodied, bold offering from Revolution.

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Photo of matjack85
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. $4.99 for a 22oz brown bottle. No freshness date and no information about the beer on the label. I did learn from their website that the "crystal" in the name is named after the predominant HOP variety used in the beer and not for a girl's name or for crystal malts.

The beer poured a hazy pale yellow color with a huge 3-finger white head that lasted about 2 minutes. Lacing was decent but there wasn't a ton of it.

I was picking up 2 main smells from this pour. First I got a fruity and citrusy aroma, followed by a fresh flowery smell. Pleasant, but not all that strong.

Strong grapefruit/tangerine flavor, which was interesting and unexpected since that is NOT a characteristic of crystal hops. There are obviously other hops in here as well. Bitterness is high at 80 IBUs, but there is enough malty sweetness in it to keep it balanced.

Medium bodied with extra high carbonation, yet it manages to still border on being creamy smooth. There seems to be more bitterness in the aftertaste than while it's in your mouth.

I liked it but not ready to put it in the outstanding category. Another solid offering from Revolution.

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Photo of portia99
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a rather pale, peachy golden color with moderate haze and a short cap of white foam that shows good staying power.

S - Smells like fresh grapefruit juice...really nice. Grapefruit peel, mild sugary sweetness, Not very complex, but really inviting.

T - Thankfully, follows the aroma very well. Again, grapefruit dominates - almost like a fresh squeezed glass of juice. Mid-level bitterness that still gives the grapefruit impression more than it does any kind of hoppy bitterness. Very faint caramelly malt at the base, a little bit of sugary malt sweetness.

M - Thinnish body, slightly watery in feel, prickly mid-level carbonation, faint malt sweetness.

O - Simple, straight forward without a lot of complexity, but tons of citrusy grapefruit character makes this a very solid IPA. I love the fresh grapefruit juice character from beginning to end - really pretty satisfying.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear amber, not much carbonation and a one finger head.

S-Good deal of bready malt. Rather heavy on it. Some light citrus.

T-Starts with bread and malt, some spice, slight citrus and a tad bit of grass.

M-Lighter, not much carbonation, crisp finish.

O-Had at the brewpub, compared to Anti-Hero I thought it was a let down too malty for my tastes.

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Crystal-Hero from Revolution Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.