Just got back from 4 days in San Diego with the in-laws. In San Diego they have some pretty fine breweries you might be familiar with: STONE, ALESMITH, LOST ABBEY / PIZZA PORT, BALLAST POINT, and more. The big fish I was trying to catch down there was the "Yulesmith" holiday ale from ALESMITH, since the Alesmith stuff isn't distributed in Northern California where I reside - nor are any of the others I mentioned save for Stone. But familial obligations being what they are, the best I could do for hardcore beer spelunking was hitting the local BevMo and Whole Foods markets. They didn't have that Yulesmith I was pining for, but they did have something else "on my list" - AVERY BREWING's THE REVEREND, a Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale if you can believe it.
Now, this one's not even from San Diego proper - nope, it's from Boulder, Colorado, and for some reason they either haven't or don't want to find a Northern CA distributor. Whatever. But when I took my "beer class" that I wrote about in HBJ's very first post, the instructor/guru poured a glass of this for me and for everyone else in the class, and man, were we dazzled. Here's what the folks at Avery have to say about it, words that I'll second with glee:
"....this beer is strong willed, assertive, and pure of heart, a heart of candy sugar. It contains as many authentic imported Belgian specialty malts as the brewers could cram into our mash tun, and lots of Belgian dark candy sugar stirred into the brew kettle. A divinely complex and beautifully layered beer with hints of dark cherries, currants, and molasses, complimented by an underlying spiciness. Sinfully smooth considering the high alcohol content."
In fact this time around, it was truly like drinking something that hovered more in the 5-6% alcohol range, considering how smooth and refreshing it was. You might get the picture that it was one of those sickening-sweet Belgian beers that take too much getting used to, but no sir. The sweetness was, as they say, "layered" with the taste of deep malts and very subtle hops. In a word, perfect. Yeah - perfect. I can't think of any reason to knock points off for anything, giving us the year's first 10/10 and a beer worth flying at least an hour and 10 minutes for!