Name – Revival
Brewer – Moor
Classification – Pale Ale
Strength – 4.0% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Deep tangerine gold. Not remotely unpleasant looking.
On the nose – Razor sharp metallic hops. Combative tropical fruits. Beaujolais 'extra' Nouveau. Properly lovely.
On the tongue – An exquisitely refined drink experience. A strong contender for 'most elegant' of all the ultra-hopped contemporary beers.
On the subject – The county of Somerset has long been almost exclusively associated with the production of cider, but thanks to the rapidly growing reputation of this highly innovative brewery, that's not the case any Moor. (Poor gags like that wouldn't be making it to publication if my editor hadn't quit. And my editor might never have quit if only I'd had the foresight to hire one in the first place. So, so many regrets...)
On the market – I already had my 'new beer availability rant' here yesterday, but I'm literally having to beat myself with rusty iron bars in order not to do so again, because today's beer is yet another modern classic that's pretty damn hard to come by. Contact the brewery for sales info, or drive yourself halfway around the world* to The Real Ale Store just like I ended up having to do.
(*Roughly 15 miles).
On the whole – 9/10
On the whole – 9/10
Without wanting to sound at all disparaging, this is probably the most 'sensible' highly-hopped modern beer I've yet come across.
Let me quickly expand on that before representatives from Moor (poorly disguised in brewery branded balaclavas) burst into my house and begin water-boarding me for hours on end with gallon after gallon of their very latest products.
Let's be honest, some of the hop-heavy brews pouring with ever increasing frequency out of breweries these days can have an effect very similar to jumping stark naked into an ice bath. They are quite deliberately 'things that make you go oooooo!' (Or make you emit other, slightly less repeatable expressions to the same effect.)
They can often – again, quite deliberately – cast aside such notions as subtlety, nuance, balance and sometimes even complexity. In my opinion, one or two brews go even further by abandoning the very concept of 'taste', in all forms of that word's definition.
So it was a real pleasure to crack today's bottle and discover something that puts each of those elements neatly and firmly back into place, resulting in a beer of staggering elegance, presence and composure.
Revival, if anything, is a dignified beer.
It exudes class and superiority, and does so in a way which is utterly understated. No braggish swagger is needed here, nor indeed is there any need for aggressive branding, and this amounts to a lesson in self-awareness which a few other contemporary breweries would do very well to learn.
The flavours are beautifully composed. So crystal clear is it in its intentions, that it leaves no secrets in the mouth, allowing tropical fruits, wild grasses, floral themes and underlying pale malt savoury notes plenty of room to have their individual moment in the spotlight. To have achieved all of this at such a relatively low alcoholic strength is highly commendable in itself.
Freshness is a big factor here, too. The grapefruit, pear, watermelon and lime all zing with 'just squeezed' immediacy. As do the gentle bread and walnut notes at the other end of the scale. (Though why anyone would waste their time 'squeezing' bread is anyone's guess! - adds The Editor, having finally been hired.)
All in all, this pale ale stands as something of a statement among its hop-heavy contemporaries, reminding them all that no matter what the beer style, there'll always be room for a genuine touch of class.
Very few are as classy as this.