Belgians. They’re always inventing something unique, and then someone else
comes along and steals the credit for it. Takes French fries, for example.
Did you know they really should be called Belgian fries? The Belgians
invented them (or so they claim), calling them pommes frites (fried
potatoes). But Belgium borders France, they speak French in some parts of
Belgium, and somehow, the Belgians did all the work while the French got the
Then there’s beer. When people think of beer, most of them think of…well, probably Budweiser. But when people think of good beer, they think of ales from Britain, lagers from Germany. Only the true connoisseur thinks about beers from Belgium. But the Belgians make some really great beers, if you take the time to appreciate them.
Of course, today’s beer, Avery’s The Reverend, is not brewed in Belgium. But is Belgian in style, hence all of the previous ramblings you’ve had to endure to read about the actual beer. This is a Belgian-style quadruple ale, the next logical progression from the tripel style.
I had seen this one on the beer store shelves a few times, but for some reason passed it up in favor of more glamorous Avery brews like The Kaiser and The Czar . Mind you, those are some pretty darned good brews themselves. And the Reverend ranks right alongside them.
Not long ago I read the really great review on this beer written by Nathan Howard, which you must read by clicking here . So, I ran out and bought a bottle, and I’m drinking it tonight.
And wow, is it good. It should be, too made with the following ingredients
Hop Variety: Styrian Goldings
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, cara 8, cara 20, caramel 15L, caramel 40L, Belgian special B
That’s a lot of malt. Hops are light here at only 10 IBUS. This isn’t a bitter beer at all, but the high amount of alcohol (10% by volume) balances the beer nicely. Belgian candy sugar adds depth and complexity, too.
The Reverend was named after the grandfather of one of Avery’s salesmen, who was (you guessed it) a reverend. Perhaps not as impressive as a Czar or a Kaiser, but certainly more apropos to a style derived from monastic tradition.
I decant some of my bottle of The Reverend into a wide-mouthed Koningshoeven Trappist ale glass. This is fitting both because this is the proper glass to serve such a beer in and because this reminds me of La Trappe Quad. The glass allows the beer to breathe and warm so that it can be best appreciated in all its glorious complexity.
There is very little head formation atop the orange amber colored liquid. Unassuming as it appears, the nose reassures the drinker of the nearly religious drinking experience to come with its complex yeasty notes.
Then you take a sip, and you realize this is a very special beer. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with wonderfully bready notes accented by hints of sweet cotton candy, candied fruit, biscuity malt, spicy licorice, pineapple, molasses, caramel, and coriander. So much going on here it’s really incredible, just a wonderfully complex beer.
The Reverend does not finish in a bitter way. It does warm the palate (and the soul) however with a rich alcohol bite. That makes it a beer to sip gently and enjoy in moderation. A 22 ounce bottle of this should do you nicely for the evening, and then some.
Don’t make the mistake I did. Buy this the very first time you see it. And if you haven’t seen it yet, run to a store that has it. And of course, pray they have some left.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.