Cuvée de Grâce 2021 | Revolution Brewing
Check out our other reviews here!
The first release of this year’s Off Season Deep Wood happens to be a beer released during the 2019-2020 Deep Wood season – Cuvée de Grâce. The blend changes each release, so this year’s isn’t the same as the last one. Revolution has a fair stock of barrels to choose from for each year’s blend and this one does not lack ambition. (It’s better to have Revolution explain the blend, so click here for full details on it.) Let’s get at it!
So Cuvée de Grâce basically blends stouts, barleywines, and ryewines together and ages them in rum barrels. Cuvée de Grâce pours a cola-like color, but definitely veers more towards the barleywine color spectrum. Those dark brown hues also come with beautiful red and crimson highlights that glow when held up to the light. The head quickly vanishes until only beer remains.
The Cuvée de Grâce aroma has some distance. Like, Weldwerks-inches-below-my-nose aromatic distance. Simply holding your glass at least half a foot below your nose is enough to get what the Cuvée brings. At 15% ABV, alcohol and booze assault your nose. Beyond that, nose flavors that adequately represent the beers used come at you all at once in a choose-your-own-aroma adventure. Chocolate, caramel, toffee and butterscotch lead the charge, followed by subtle notes of figs, prunes and rum spices. Even some red wine and brandy notes show up a bit.
The balance of flavor really stands out once you sip on it. The chocolate, toffee, caramel and butterscotch show up in equal measure and again becomes a “pick what you want to taste” every time you sip it. Unlike a majority of this year’s Deep Wood beers, Cuvée de Grâce finishes very dry, with some of that booze staying behind a bit to let you know you’re drinking a 15% beer. Some spice and vanilla show up in moderation as well, but the balance stars.
That balance extends to the blend itself. While both sweet and dry components were used, the beer never hits that pastry sweet level some stouts and barleywines hit nowadays. You get some sweetness on the front while the dry finish really blunts any sweetness that may come through in the taste. For the most part things move, with a medium carbonation helping things along. A slight molasses or syrupy consistency shows up at the end of the sip.
Cuvée de Grâce is a perfectly fine beer but falls victim to Revolution’s insane 2020-2021 Deep Wood run. If this cuvée showed up in 2017, it would most like be one of the top releases of that year. But this year? I’d definitely rather have a fair amount of 2020-2021 Deep Wood beers over this. I even had a chance to taste Deth Weaver at the taproom when I picked up some beer and I’d put that over Cuvée de Grâce. (For those that like rankings, it would most likely fall in the five to eight range of my 2020 Deep Wood rankings.)
That being said, I like the 2021 Cuvée de Grâce infinitely better than the 2020 version. There are a bevy of beers that aren’t anywhere near the depth, complexity, balance and taste of Cuvée de Grâce, but it just so happens many of the ones that are happen to be made by Revolution. However, in my eyes, the Cuvée de Grâce program took a step in the right direction. Revolution, above all else, knows how to tweak things gradually to make them absolutely outstanding and I have no doubt Cuvée de Grâce will get there.
Revolution will release Cuvée de Grâce the weekend of April 16, 2021 for either curbside or in-person pick up. Preorders begin April 13 at their web store. Cuvée de Grâce is $40 per 4-pack with a limit of 3 4-packs per person. It will see some limited Chicagoland distribution. A big thanks to Revolution for the review sample.