It feels odd reviewing a beer that’s been available for less than a week, but I’m not complaining. John Harvard’s Provision Ale is so new, it’s not even on the beer list yet. When we picked a growler of it up a week ago, it was a day old. And it’s impressive. A dark, dark ale, almost black, it has a nose like a stout—malty, almost sweet—but an ale’s mouthfeel—light-bodied, malt balanced out by hops (and alcohol). I’d love to see an ABV or BU measurement on this ale, but I’m guessing both of them are pretty high. This is good stuff, and I hope it enters the regular rotation at the pub.
For more information about the style, check out this Michael “Beer-Hunter” Jackson article on Old Ale and check out the paragraph next to the second pull-quote. Basically, Provision Ales were meant to lay down, hence the high hops and alcohol content.