A kind of atom smash of beer flavors. This is a strangely successfull mixture of flavors that seem to be pale ale and chocolate stout slammed together. It sounds a little weird but it works...quite well.
First let me say that those who say this is a hop infused stout are missing the boat. That to me is ignorance. It is like going to a great restaurant, ordering surf and turf and saying the meal was steak with an over tone of lobster. The meal needs to be viewed as a complete experience. This beer needs to be viewed as a combination of ideas and not one idea simply flavored with another.
Revolution is a super hip brewery out of Chi-Town. I have been there a couple times and it is a typical Chicago street side establishment with hard as hell to find parking just outside of Logan Square. It is one of those places in Chicago that is about as close to Brooklyn as you can be without being anywhere close to Brooklyn. The location I am referring to is one of their original (maybe the first) tap rooms. They have other places they brew beer but I will say this about the location I have had the pleasure of visiting. It is hard as hell to get into and they have really good food. Like...REALLY GOOD FOOD. Regardless, their beer is almost always better than good and Rise American Stout is no exception.
The beer pours near black with tan caramel bubbled head. There is thick lacing and the bubble size varies a lot. The aroma surprised me after taking in the color. It has a hop riden smell, not strong but certainly earthy and with presence. So what we have here is the color of a deep stout, the aroma of an IPA/pale ale and the mouthfeel of something that resembles a cream ale.
As I mentioned up above, the flavor is a kind of slam together of two genres of beer. I would not guess that I would like and truly respect the combination...but...hmmm... This is a flavor that takes on a hop profile reminscent of a pale ale on the dirtier side. It is earthy and a tiny bit floral. Then that semi-hoped base of interest is atom slammed into a stout that is, if it stood by itself arguably average. But because these flavor ideas are jammed together we end up with something kind of neat. Because of the way they approach this mixture of two ideas we get a mouth confusion that I found myself liking/really liking, intrigued by, and wanting to talk about. My primary interest began with this beer as simply something that was...well...interesting. It is not a delectible beer and I may not drive 20 miles to find. But it is certainly better than good and if I see it at the beer bar or craft beer store, I will buy it. I think the way they managed to trick my pallet by playing my eyes against my tongue, and my tongue against my nose is pretty neat. In fact maybe better than neat...inventive and memorable.
The innitial thoughts I had when opening this beer was skepticism and surprise. But I picked my way through it and came to really respect the effort. It is a really good beer. Revolution Rise is a maze that your taste buds have to navigate and I liked solving it. This is an excellent effort and it will make most beer lovers commit to the puzzle and I think they will find their way. And if they don't they will have a lot of interesting fun in the effort.
Full Brewery Name: Revolution Brewing Company
Brewery Location: Chicago, Illinois
Alcohol by Volume(ABV): 7.5
Drinkability: Moderate - Sessionable