Editorial Dept.'s picture

Virgil's Reserve – Grist Brewing Co. – 94 Rating

Responses from brewers Rob Kevwitch, Nate Wannlund, Steve Nolan and Tyler Swaim.
 Brewers (left to right): Rob Kevwitch, Nate Wannlund, Steve Nolan, Tyler Swaim
Brewers (left to right): Rob Kevwitch, Nate Wannlund, Steve Nolan, Tyler Swaim

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
Rob Kevwitch and brew team. Each year this beer is slightly different do to the barrel-aging effect and different attenuation that happens between each batch brewed.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
Our favorite aspect of this beer is the slight acidity the is added to the beer as it ages over time in the french cabernet wine barrels. This slight sour/acidic flavor helps to balance out this big beer and make it extremely well-rounded.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
As Dante matriculated through Hell, he was guided by a Roman poet, Virgil. Although Virgil’s official job title is a "guide" for Dante (does he hold a little flag up so Dante doesn't get lost from his Hell tour?), we all know there is more going on. Virgil quickly goes from tour guide to personal tutor, liaison, and father figure to Dante. And Dante gushes over him in a fanboy-like manner. So, in keeping with the theme, Virgil's Reserve would be as if he took Dante to his cellar on the way and shared some delicious beers that he had been aging. We like to think the first stop on Dante's sojourn, before Purgatory, was Virgil's cellar.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
Yeah if we wanna die in two days. Just kidding, but no for me this is not my desert island beer. I love this beer for how dynamic it is, and how it ages so well after being bottled and changes just slightly from year to year. I love barrel-aged beers but being a hop head this would not be my desert island beer.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Cab barrel flavor, slight acidity and sweetness, medium bodied

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
Not exactly about this years version. But for us, the beer that went into the barrels for next years version was the first brew in the 20-bbl system and that i handled from beginning to end on my own. Now going into this brew we did not think that this was going to be the batch that went in for next year's release, but because of timing, our first batch of beer is now next year's version of Virgil's Reserve.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Bone-in ribeye steak with onion blue cheese sauce and scalloped potatoes.