Last week, I had what I think may be the finest beer I have ever tasted, and that is saying something. I've had a lot of different beers, and a lot of them I don't even remember, probably because they all run together, and probably because I'm drunk. But this one will stay with me for awhile, that I know.
It was The Reverend from Avery Brewing. It's what I call a "ten-percenter," meaning, of course, 10% alcohol by volume. Right in the zone. When ordering it, I asked the bartender, "Does it taste like ten percent?", inferring that some ten percenters taste like oil with a splash of hops. He said it did, and so I went with it. How could a holy beer steer me wrong? Although I am not a religious man, I was not disappointed.
The Reverend is very amazing. The ten percent-ness is covered up a sweetness and a nice finish that make you just want to keep on drinking (which is dangerous to do, kids. Take it from me.) I think, for any rookies, when I say it tastes like a 10% beer, I sort of mean teh opposite. It doesn't taste like most ten-percenters. It's tastes better.
The rundown, from the Avery website:
The Reverend, was created in tribute to the life of Sales Mgr. Tom Boogaard's grandfather, an ordained Episcopal Reverend. Tom was inspired by the life of his grandfather and wanted to create a tribute beer that contained his sterling traits. True to both our "small brewery, BIG BEERS" philosophy and to the spirit and character of the departed Reverend, this beer is 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.
Now, even I don't know what all that means, but it sounds pretty good, don't it? Well, it is. It is delicious. I mean, everyone needs to drink this beer. if they served it at diplomatic functions, the we may have world peace. I know I sound like a dithering idiot, but truly, I've drank a lot of beer, and this one is really special.
Sadly, I ran into a problem. I really could only drink one that evening, otherwise, I would have been on the floor (I had already tried a couple before I got the The Reverend). However, I knew that, unless I moved up to Southern Tier's Unearthly (also very good), anything I drank next would be a long step down on the ladder. So, I decided on one I knew, and went with a Sierra Celebration, because those will probably be going away soon enough. It was definitely a step down, not nearly as bold, but I did want to be able to get home, and I feel, as I get older, getting blithering drunk all the time is not something I want to do.
Now, if I could get drunk on just The Reverend, I might consider it. What was that Grateful Dead line? Ah yes:
"I may be going to Hell in a bucket, babe,
But at least I'm enjoying the ride."
But with a name like The Reverend, it's more like Heaven.