V.S.O.R.
Revolution Brewing

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Style:
Rye Beer
Ranked #14
ABV:
13.1%
Score:
90
Ranked #5,053
Avg:
4.46 | pDev: 6.73%
Reviews:
7
Ratings:
19
From:
Revolution Brewing
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
One-off
Wants
  0
Gots
  3
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Notes: This small batch Ryeway 2017 variant is just lousy with maple, pecan, and American oak tannin after spending two years in Woodford Double Oak barrels. After blending some into Cuvée de Grâce we've only one barrel left. Here's your chance to enjoy it unblended in all it's stupid, sweet majesty.
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap. Murky blackish brown with a tiny ring. Smell is awesome, awe-inspiring even, oak, caramel, rye, maple, bourbon, molasses, smoke, leather, vanilla, candi sugar, and char. Taste does well to have both the booze and flavoring from the booze meld into the all of the syrupy sweet flavors, the robust wood, and of course the rye, finishes more complex and drier. Might be the best rye beer I have ever had. Pushes boundary of what a rye beer really is, a loose style for sure, the feel is most evident of this: chewy, warm, decent wood and rye spice, and gooey sweetness.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a slightly murky golden brown color, with a very small head, and not much lacing.

This smells tremendous - spicy oak, maple, peppery rye, caramel, molasses, warming booze, vanilla, and chocolate.

This a really great transition of flavors, if that makes sense. Up front it is quite sweet, with maple, vanilla, and sweet, drippy caramel, promising a bakery-style barleywine. But then, on the back end - the barrel hits, and it hits hard. There's a lot of rye here, it's spicy, peppery, and very oaky, with a lot of whiskey. It smacks you around a bit, but then brings you and hugs you, as some of that sweetness creeps back in and you feel really warm. This is exquisitely built and crafted.

This is medium bodied, creamy, with a lingering bitterness on the back end from the rye and booze. It starts sweet and then finishes really dry.

Revolution has always had a world-class barrel program, and they just keep churning out the hits, sticky malty beast after sticky malty beast. This is absolutely a must-try.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

CAN courtesy of Chris - thanks, bruv!

"Rye ale aged in rye bourbon barrels." 14.8% ABV. Spends two years in rye whiskey barrels. 2019 vintage (filled 10/31/19).

Currently #25 in the Rye Beers Top Beers list.

Served cold into a highball.

HEAD: Piurs a golden khaki head - vibrant and lively - shockingly so considering its montrous ABV. Lasts a good 4-5 minutes, not letting its ABV cripple it. Soft and inviting. Leaves thick syrupy legs as it recedes, indicating a boozy brew.

BODY: Opaque dark brown. No yeast/lees are visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Certainly appealing for a strong ale/rye beer. Its head draws more attention than its body.

AROMA: Obvious sweetness is the first thing I notice - maple sugar, molasses, thick syrupy malt sweetness, barrel sugars, barrel vanillin, caramel, nougat, treacle, rich caramelized sugars...suggests a syrupy sweet beer but one tempered by rich oak and some mild char.

Aromatic intensity is actually low considering the ABV and premise of the beer.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Gooey bourbon melts into the syrupy malts to form a thick sweet beer, hitting heavy on notes of molasses, brown malt, bold 2-row sweetness, barrel sugars, and treacle. Barrel vanillin is present on the backend along with a scintilla of coconut, but rye's robust spiciness and warmth lead the barrel notes up front. In short, it's a rather complex ale. Some may find it too sweet, but I find the subtle roast and refined oak/woodsy notes check the sweetness adequately.

Smooth, wet, full-bodied, well-carbonated. Unrefreshing. Coating. Its smoothness helps counter the somewhat sludgy feel of the malts. A bit leathery. Certainly heavy and weighty on the palate, bringing the oomph you need for a beer this complex and this high in alcohol. There's some alcohol warmth to be sure, but it's welcome, working with the whiskey-forward flavour profile; it's not a harsh or aggressive beer, but I wouldn't call it mellow.

I could use more vanilla, but it's very nicely barrel-forward and I appreciate Revolution's age statement (a rarity in today's market where everyone seems to want to market their beer as bourbon barrel aged but no one wants to actually let the beer spend time in barrels). As nice as the vanilla, oak, and rye spice are in this, I do have to say the barrel presence is not on par with the best of the best (e.g. Founders, some vintages of Goose Island Bourbon County, et al.) but that's picking a nit.

OVERALL: A beer for the rye bourbon drinker, with enough sweetness and (welcome) alcohol warmth to make anyone glow on a wintry eve. I think it's best judged as a barrel aged strong ale instead of as a rye beer proper. Opens up a bit as it warms...I'd advise serving it chilled. A welcome addition to Revolution's barrel aged lineup, but I'd stop short of considering it top tier...the borderline sludgy mouthfeel does hold it back and I think the base beer could use more bitterness via roasted barley, charred sugars, hops, or the like.

B- / WORTHY

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Photo of michaelsmith11
4.73/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is the 2019 version. Had this beer on tap at Gillerson's Grubery. This is an incredible beer. Very complex with waves of flavors and aromas. A nice rye spice and some booze forward with caramel, maple, oak, and some sweet vanilla to follow. All these flavors some how stay in balance. A very smooth and full mouthfeel. Outstanding.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/31/19; drank 11/16/19 @ the Yarchives.

Nearly opaque brown/purple appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE tan head; thick, frothy lace.

Caramel, oak & mild maple notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Caramel, maple & mild bourbon heat flavors up front; nice oak & mild leather notes on the finish. The booze heat emerged more as this warmed.

Almost as nice as VSOJ!

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Photo of darktronica
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour threatens to overtop my teku. Brown sugar, caramel, maple, treacle... all the brown sugary stuff. Big barrel oak on the palate, not as noticeable on the nose. Boozy heat and rye spice that only arrives once I take a sip. Really opens up as it warms, with more peppery spice, tannins, a bit of plum and milk chocolate. Luxuriously rich texture that's so silky, Revolution should consider a collab with Wamsutta.

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Photo of stortore
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at Revolution. Truly one of the best beers I’ve ever had. The complexity and depth of the flavors is amazing. Keeping my fingers crossed that they will can this someday.

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V.S.O.R. from Revolution Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 19 ratings