Revolution Brewing Releases First 3 Deep Wood Series Beers
As they did last year, Revolution Brewing is once again staggering the release of their Deep Wood barrel-aged series. The first three beers got released last week at its now routine release party, which included cans to-go and a draft list full of rare and stand out beers you won’t find packaged.
Last week’s first release included Deth’s Tar, Café Deth and Deth by Plums. Coming out nearly a month earlier than last year, Revolution led with the base beer, coffee variant and fruited variant where last year VSOJ and Code Switch were released in October.
The change works as I appreciate getting the base beer and its variants as a way to set the table for the next three releases which will occur over the next three consecutive months. Perhaps the beers weren’t ready in October last year or the brewery just wanted to kick things off with two beers that weren’t stouts. Either way, the switch to leading with the popular oatmeal stouts was noticed.
Onto the beers.
As it has been for the last two years, Deth’s Tar once again is a solid barrel-aged stout. Each year it does surprise me that this beer is thinner than I would expect. I’d compare it to the stouts that Central Waters produces. There’s a lot of flavor but it does get me every year when the mouthfeel isn’t what I’m expecting.
The aroma produces strong chocolate notes with molasses and vanilla lingering at the end. At first taste, you’re greeted with that same chocolate but more vanilla to slightly sweeten the beer. What I’ve always loved about the Deep Wood series is their commitment to keeping the barrel apart of the beer.
Deth’s Tar still features noticeable barrel and bourbon flavors that go pair well with the oatmeal stout itself. The blending of beer and barrel is spot on because at 14.8% ABV you’re not thinking this is a bourbon bomb. Deep Wood beers are usually very easy to drink even at such an extreme ABV and this years is no exception.
I’ll just come out and say it. This year’s Café Deth is my favorite Deep Wood beer ever made. What Marty Scott, Revolution’s barrel guy, has done this year to the coffee oatmeal stout variant is remarkable.
Utilizing Dark Matter Coffee, everything from the aroma, mouthfeel and taste is pretty much what I would define as perfection in a coffee stout. When you go to smell Café Deth it’s different than other coffee stouts you’ve had in the past. It’s a robust blend of beans that produces a rich aroma exactly as if you were brewing a fresh cup of coffee on a cold winter’s morning.
While the smell ropes you in, the taste keeps you coming back for more. Deth’s Tar was thin to me, but Café Deth has a much thicker mouthfeel and the coffee flavor simply explodes and takes over. I can only describe the flavor as complex as the flavors develop as you taste the beer. Layer after layer of coffee hits your palate as you experience fruit and spice with the slight coffee bitterness that wraps it all together. And to top it all off the barrel is in the background throughout complementing the tremendous coffee flavors.
If you’ve read my other work you’ll know that I don’t advocate for aging beer. This is one that should absolutely be consumed fresh. In fact, Revolution is stating that right on the can.
“Keep Cold. Enjoy Now. We Mean It.” There is no upside to storing this beer for longer than a few months. The coffee flavor will only dissipate so if you do have any of these as we head into the new year, please reach out. I’ll buy them off of you and pay for shipping. It would be a shame to let this flavor go to waste.
To Revolution, I’ll say – You did it! Congratulations!
Deth by Plums
Revolution’s fruited variant this year features the plum. A fruit you probably had years ago, see in the produce section but never buy, and now you’re thinking about plums way more than you ever had before.
While previous fruited Deth’s Tar had a strong aroma of currant or cherry, plum is a bit more subdued. You get a light fruitiness that lets you know the plum is present but you’re still about to drink a big bourbon barrel-aged beer.
At 11.7% ABV, it is significantly lower in alcohol than the other two. In line with the aroma, previous versions of this beer were much more fruit-toward on the flavor but make no mistake the flavor is full of fruit.
What I liked is that the beer isn’t overly sweet. Yes there is fruit in it and it’s noticeable, but the base beer is still very much present and again I’ll stress how important having the barrel be apart of the flavor in a barrel-aged beer is for me.
The next release for Revolution will be on November 15 and feature Straight Jacket, the brewery’s barleywine and V.S.O.R., Very Special Old Ryeway.