“COME BACK LATER,” said the volunteer, gesturing impotently at the pitcher before him on the table. It was supposed to hold Revolution Brewing’s Working Mom, the imperial brown ale that took gold in the strong dark beer category at FoBAB 2013. At the moment, though, all it contained was foam: an appetizing, creamy concoction the color of golden marshmallows, but foam nonetheless. Working Mom was putting in overtime, it seemed. Even once the keg was appropriately chilled it still dispensed a thick and globular head that half-filled each glass. The ale itself looked a worthy counterpart, colored deep black-brown like soaked wood chips with hardly a flash of light at its edges. Despite this imposing presentation the beer’s aroma is unexpectedly clean and orderly, showing medium-toasted malts, corn, some alcohol, and light herbal hops on nose. On the palate its full, velvety body cracks a boozy whip (11% ABV) while the gentle yet firm hops keep the malts in line from beginning to end.
This Mom is a member of Revolution’s series of Working [something or anothers], all of which are brown ales or dark milds. True to these unassuming origins the beer is surprisingly refreshing, showing few roasted malts despite its dark hues and settling more easily on the tongue than porters or stouts of comparable strength. Perhaps it’s also reminiscent of Revolution’s Co-Conspirator Doppelbock in this regard, hefting a high-gravity but cleaning up neatly. Also like Co-Conspirator, Working Mom draws some flavors from Appelton Rum barrels, plus extra time in those from Woodford Reserve. The combined aging lends a spiciness and balanced oak character with neither bourbon nor rum intruding too heavily on the beer’s core flavors. A tasteful example of how to balance several large commitments at once. Hmm…
Served: On tap (Skyline Loft, FoBAB 2013, Chicago)