For my New Beer Resolutions, I said I wanted to spend more time with some of the beers a little further from my comfort zone (Mad Fox, Capitol City, Port City, and Forge are all within 15 minutes to give you an idea). While it’s a little too soon to make some of the brewery trips, I did cheat a little bit and picked up some bombers and other hard-to-finds earlier and stocked them away for a good occasion…like, say, turning 30 and watching the Cowboys in the playoffs…or cooking a bacon explosion. Oh, never heard of the bacon explosion?
I can’t claim credit for the bacon explosion, as the good gentlemen at BBQ Addicts concocted this little beauty, but in any event playoff-worthy food requires playoff-worthy beer. And from experience, the good folks at Heritage Brewing have us covered when it comes to beer with big, unorthodox flavors.
Revolution, Heritage Brewing Company (Manassas, VA) – @HeritageBrews
Oak Aged American Amber Ale, ABV 5.8%
Presentation: Bomber pour into pint glass.
Appearance: With an amber – and oak aged, in particular – I expected this copper behemoth to just sit there and glare back at me. Very minimal head which dissipated in the blink of an eye accompanied the beer, with barely any lattice as you drink it down. There’s just a small amount of red beyond the copper.
Taste: Complicated. I’ve never had an Amber which tasted like this, and I debated how much I liked it for a solid 30 minutes (and almost half the first pint). In the end, I kind of like it. More than kind of. There is so much going on with this beer: rye (first and foremost), some citrus, some caramel, some toasted malt, some earthiness from the oak aging. To be very blunt, if you don’t like rye flavors you will not like this beer. I typically don’t, but my second pour of the beer from the bomber (the main picture above) released some sediment which presumably brought out some extra malt to balance the rye, and that helped quite a bit. That did just enough for me to put this into positive territory.
ABV/IBU: There’s really no bitterness here, but this punches like a 10-11% beer. A lot of that is the oak and rye, though.
Overall: Heritage certainly plays around with flavors. Their Kings Mountain Oak Aged Scotch was featured during one of our Tailgate Throwdowns to good effect, and as I mentioned up above there is a LOT going on here. I’m curious what the draught and can versions taste like, as it may be that the aging process has altered things a bit. But we’ll know more when I get out to Heritage for a full tour and tasting, won’t we? For now, I’d say this is solid but probably not for most people. Have it with a flavorful meat for additional effect. You know, like that bacon explosion…