Absolution Ale | South Street Brewery

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21 Ratings

Brewed by:
South Street Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by philipt on 11-06-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by philipt:
Photo of philipt
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best local beer in Charlottesville...hands down. South Street brews really good beers, but this one is exceptional.

Reddish-brown color with a rather substantial cream color head. Quite clear. Sweet, malt smell with a decent hop presnce in the aroma too. The taste is incredibly balanced between malt and hops. Starts somewhat sweet but the hops ecome apparent very quickly. Like an Arrogant Bastard tamed down a notch or two.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first offering from the new beer engine at the Capital Ale House!

The glass contains a very attractive deep, mahogany-colored beer. Thin layer of immensely creamy off-white head leaves a thick and copious layer of lace on the glass. Aromas are sugary sweet, with some fruity hops in the background. Spicy, zesty flavor. Very well-balanced. Malty sweetness, combined with the spicy notes, make for a tasty dance partner to the hoppy bitterness. Finishes with a sweet aftertaste that is muted by the cask-conditioning. Very smooth mouthfeel. Medium-bodied. Not too high on the ABV, and one that was great to just sip as the last beer of the night at the Ale House with fellow BA GCBrewingCo.

A successful first cask-conditioned beer. Give it a try if you can find it.

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Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub bar. I always enjoy a good strong ale and this beer didn't disappoint. Basically is was a big, but drinkable mix of chocolate grains and citrus hops. I'd have liked more depth from the malt and hops, but the bready barley and biting grapefruit hops are a pretty tasty combination. Check this beer out if you visit.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown clear hue with no head.
Aroma of sweet malt and floral hop bouquet.
Flavor is heavy caramel malt and dark fruit to strat and balanced with some subtle floral and grass hop hits.
Mouthfeel was complex sweet malt to start that transitions effortless to some moderate floral light hop bitterness.
Drinkability was good, although served to cold at the Goose Island Real Fest

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Photo of Proteus93
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, ruby notes... a short, but creamy-ish head, with a bit of stickiness going on

S: Smoky, roasted malts... almost a hint of a bubblegum like aroma in there of sorts? A little caramel nose. Quite a nice smell, all around.

T: Quite a strong malt flavour... maybe a little bigger than a standard English style, but reasonably close, and I didn't mind. Some lingering toasty/burnt flavours... a nice bitter balance.

M: A nice, round body... good assertiveness in carbonation, holding lighter to the style, appropriately.

D: This is a good and pleasing ale. Decent body, good flavour, and an ABV that isn't out the roof. This was the last of the evening brews, but in the future, I would be happy sticking to this one alone.

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Photo of Lafe
4.87/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer has got to be one of my favorite beers ever, when it is done well (which is usually).

Straight from the tap, this beer has a tight dark-cream-colored head, maybe half an inch thick, over a mahogany colored, crystal clear beer. The aroma carries a strong malty scent, with a hint of alcohol and hops (noble?).

This beer is mostly in the Old Ale style, but has a beautiful flavor that defies description. The balance of malt, hops, and roasty/fruity/estery flavors is so perfect that one finds it hard to characterize it. Having to settle for "perfectly balanced", this 6.5-7.0%ABV beer leaves one ready for the next.

And at South Street this beer best complements either the steak, or the nachos, both of which are also excellent.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep, dark, bourbon-iced-coffee color. Topped by extra-thin ginger-colored head. Carbonation is still and sparse. Not bad.

At first it's a reach to smell ANYTHING - this is so friggin' mild. After a while I catch a hint of raisins, stewed molasses and a little bit of dark malt. Hops are on deep background.

This is decent but incredibly understated. Tough to scope out such a thin brew in a bar setting (especially with smoke around - yes, I spent a lot of time in VA but I forgot about that). Nevertheless I think I can swing this...for the style it's thin and a little clammy. By no means bad but definitely brewed for the masses and lightened up. Still, it's pleasant. Raisin, a little caramel and maybe some maple. Hops emerge with a mostly grassy presence. A "session" Old Ale? Has more ESB quality to it, actually...

There's a malty, spent hop quality on the back of the palate that provides an indication of heft and robustness. It's a little heavy but not nearly as much as a true Old. Alcohol really isn't here (which is a little disappointing for style). Overall, not bad but by no means a standout.

This style isn't geared for supreme drinkability. However, in the punch-per-pound tale of the tape, although a serviceable effort, it falls way short.

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Photo of dball
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Absolution is a seasonal I wish was a year-rounder. It has a fine look off the tap in a clear glass. The smell meets the taste and mouthfeel as a true strong ale. It is my standard favorite at South Street. Be sure to catch it before May and possibly April.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mtusa08
3.56/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Grinky
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of seanchai
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JessPrice
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of argock
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-cask in a clear pint glass.

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights and average 1-finger head with decent retention and lacing.

S: Musty overall with plenty of raisin and date aromas matched with leafy, grassy hops notes.

T: A really enjoyable ale with hefty dark fruit flavors of raisin and date followed by a leafy, Goldings hops-type of finish.

M: Smooth and low carbonation from cask -- a quick taste of my brother's on-tap version tells me the cellar temp service is helping. Very smooth in both pints.

D: A very good brew from the SSB crew. I will have to make a point of stopping here more often. This ale was very good, and the cask service made a very nice experience.

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Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of jaymo18
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of LeeinVA
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ale was served in a typical pint glass. The Beer menu touted the Beer as being Mahogany in color. I would say the deep rich color was more Garnet, but either way, was a really nice flavored beer with a nice knuckle high tan head that did dissipate within minutes. Lacing was nice as well and everything seemed to be well balanced, however, i think this one could have a higher ABV, but that is just my two cents worth. I shall return to South Street Brewery, and i shall continue to sample their quality product..


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Photo of bmjivi221
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of billab914
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. It poured a dark caramel color with minimal head to it. Nice color to it.

Tha aroma has a rich caramel and toffee presence to it. I get a little dark fruits to it as well. Very smooth, malty and pretty good overall.

The taste also has a lot of malty, carmel notes throughout. I get a hint of some darker malts coming out along with a little dark fruit. Pretty flavorful overall.

The mouthfeel is light for the style with moderate carbonation. Overall it was a Pretty solid beer overall. Very smooth and easy drinking, although a little lighter then I like in the style. Nice flavors overall though.

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Photo of slvrmon82
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was a 17th century english ale with roasted malt.

A - Very dark and thick brown in appearance. 1 finger head that lasted most of the time. Nice carbonation.

S - This is where I was lost. A little english toffee and that was it. I picked up almost no nose on this beer. I tried everything and all I could get was that toffee.

T - Sweet up front with some brown sugar and caramel. Then a little toffee. Again it seemed to just fall off the palate though. Decent upfront that was gone by the end of the sip.

M - A little light for and english ale. No creaminess to it. No extra carbonation.

D - For me I couldn't think of another pint. Mayber for some but this was my least favorite of the evening.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at South Street Brewery, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A clear, transparent, garnet-hued beer with a fast-fading off-white head - fast-fading being an assumption on my part, as when it came to me the head was largely gone, and only a thin slick of tan-colored foam remained atop this one. The foam looks creamy though. This one leaves almost no lacing as it recedes, which is a shame.

Aroma: Way too mild. A few spicy hop and phenolic notes, and a few heavy fructose-esque malts, darker toasty notes. There's some good here, but it's well hidden.

Taste: One of the heavier, thicker beers on South Street's menu, yet it's still well-balanced. You get a nice, aggressive hop profile - grass and leaf being dominant - and the bitterness is pretty coarse, large, biting. There's tons of raisins and dates in this one, which is nice, along with some brown sugar, molasses, a few sweet doughy notes and darker toast-like notes. There're hints of grassy coffee, some spicy phenols ... it's a pretty complex beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and even, fine-to-medium bubbled, even, medium-to-full bodied ... and thick and chewy.

Drinkability: One of South Street's better go-to beers - it's really complex (almost TOO many unfermentable sugars, though!), low in abv%, and pretty tasty. Wish it was more readily available!!

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Absolution Ale from South Street Brewery
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 21 ratings