Revel Cider – 2017 Revelations Series [Brothers Beer Bistro – Ottawa]
Revel Cider 2017 Revelations Series – Brothers Beer Bistro in Ottawa, ON
Sampled March 2017
Don’t be fooled by the name – Brothers Beer Bistro does has a ton of beer, but they also have a wide selection of other beverages and cocktails. Having recently started to serve Revel Cider, Brothers was selected to be a host venue for the second annual Revelations Series; a 4-cider birthday celebration series where Revel released a new cider every week throughout March 2017 (first started in March 2016) to celebrate another milestone year in production. In 2016, we were only able to try and review 2 out of the 4 ciders offered in the series (found here and here), but thankfully for us, in 2017, we were able to try all four ciders in the series. We tried them all at the charming and modern Brothers Beer Bistro – located at the corner of Dalhousie and George Street in the famous Byward Market.
The first week and release of the Revelations Series was Oud Blanc; a strong 9% cider inspired from the sour beer style ‘Oud Bruin’. Ouc Blanc is a cloudy canary yellow with small bubble carbonation that streams quickly. With a strong smell noticeable, it is musty and earthy among strong sour apple aromas (along with that typical Revel Cider smell). When you first sip this cider, there is a very strong bite and it is puckering sour. With a very dry white wine flavour, it has prominent fermentation and mature fruit flavours. The aftertaste is where the perry aspects of the cider are really noticed, with the taste become slighter sweeter and smoother overall. With a semi-longer lingering aftertaste, woody notes emerge among the white wine flavour that remains. The cider has a very bold and complete flavour overall, and is fairly dry with the fermentation flavour more prevalent than the apple or pear flavours.
The second week’s release was a wonderful perry called Lapsed Sanity. At 6.9%, it is a bright cloudy yellow with large carbonation bubbles. There is a medium smell that has both hops and oak notes among the strong musty and earthy aromas. The initial taste of Lapsed Sanity is dominated by the citra-hops that add a lot of body and bite to the cider. Among the hoppy flavours are strong pear and citrus notes that make the cider both sweet and sour. The hoppy flavours linger long into the aftertaste, with the overall flavour and feel becoming very smooth on the pallet. Sweet notes remain with the oak notes becoming more obvious. It finishes dry and light.
The third release was the 8.9% Zero Gravitas white-wine infused cider. Made with a Sauvignon bland yeast, it is a yellow and orange murky colour with small quick and frequent carbonation bubbles. This Revel cider has a mild-to-medium smell with faint pear hints and some sulfur notes – and that famous Revel aroma that many other ciders in the family have. Initially, it has a mild bite from the champagne-like carbonation bubbles that is delicate in the mouth. Quickly noticeable, there is a marriage of sweet and sour notes, with citrus and orange zest-like undertones. A bit tangy, it builds to become dry on the pallet quickly. It has a long lingering aftertaste that remains dry; with white wine flavours and characteristics becoming more prevalent a few seconds into the sip. This cider has a nice balance of wine and cider characteristics, with the former’s yeast sensation and flavour being very obvious. With a thicker consistency than other ciders, it would please both cider and white wine fans alike.
The final cider offering in this fantastic Revelations series, is one we had been waiting for since the start – the 7.2% Irregular Apocalypse brett cider. Promising lychee and hibiscus flavours, it is a bright orange hue that reminds us of an orange soda. With a cliché Revel cider smell, it has hints of orange, grapefruit aromas, among the musty and acidic notes. This cider cloudy but also has small champagne bubbles noticeable – with a minimal foam on the top. With a sour head, the hibiscus flavour comes through very quickly; with the grapefruit and orange flavours also prevalent. With an apple base, the tannins are more noticeable from the fruit than the flavour. Going into the aftertaste, it has a tart floral flavour that goes flat. Lychee slightly appears; among other stone-fruit flavour notes. The flavour does not linger long, but it goes from crisp to very dry in the mouth quickly.
Overall, we were very pleased with this Revelation Series and were happy we got to experience all four at Brothers Beer Bistro. While all four ciders were amazing tasting and quite unique, the two of us (Bethany and Barry) thought that the first cider offered – Oud Blanc – was our favourite of them all. While the ciders in this series featured many classical Revel Cider flavour notes and characteristics, these ciders showed some growth and maturity for Revel – offering unique, worldly, and complex blends for the month. We really respect how Revel draws inspiration for their ciders from a variety of beverages from all around the world and takes chances in a cider culture that can sometimes be too safe.
We also highly recommend going to Brothers Beer Bistro – for a cider or a craft beer – as the owner and staff are friendly and attentive, the selection is wide and the charm is undeniable.