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Revolution’s Boss Jacket Stars in the Third Deep Wood Release

Revolution Deep Wood Series Release 2019
Mike Zoller

While the barrel-aged releases are dying down as we get closer to the end of the year, Chicago’s Revolution Brewing still has two more for their Deep Wood series and the third release (of four) happens this Friday at the taproom on Kedzie.

Starting at 4 p.m., the brewery will release V.S.O.D. (Very Special Old Deth), Ryeway to Heaven and Boss Jacket. Revolution has released pricing on the Facebook event as well as the limits. V.S.O.D. will be $35/pack with a limit of four; Ryeway to Heaven will cost $30/pack with a limit of four and Boss Jacket will be the most expensive at $40/pack and a limit of two.

Here’s what to expect from this Friday’s release:

Boss Jacket

I’m starting with the barleywine aged in ex-Calvados Rye Whiskey barrels that Whistle Pig used for its fifth iteration of The Boss Hog V whiskey. Named The Spirit of Mauve, the whiskey went for $500 a bottle and that’s what Revolution’s English Barleywine sat in before canning.

Boss Jacket was my favorite of the three. I loved the classic barleywine aroma of caramel and vanilla and the flavor followed suit. What you might notice is that there’s a little extra sweetness that comes from the barrel.

Calvados is a French brandy that’s distilled from pears, apples or similar fruits. Because of those ingredients, you’ll get a little extra sweetness that goes really well with the English Barleywine.

I thought Straight Jacket from last month’s release was too hot. But Boss Jacket is pretty much perfect. It’s incredibly smooth with present barrel notes but without the boozy burn that was noticeable in Straight Jacket. At 14% ABV, be careful with this one as it’s very easy to drink.

Ryeway to Heaven

Revolution’s Rye Ale is aged in bourbon and rye barrels to produce a spicy, yet well-blended beer that’s a nice follow-up to last release’s V.S.O.R. You’re going to get a lot of barrel in this beer and at 15% ABV it’s noticeable but like Boss Jacket, the beer isn’t overpowering.

While the spice from the rye barrel is the dominating flavor, you’ll notice slight hints of dark fruit, a bit of chocolate and just a touch of vanilla to round out this beer.

If you’re not into overly sweet barrel-aged beers you’ll enjoy Ryeway to Heaven as it’s more dry and boozy then fruity. I thought this was a nice addition in this release’s lineup because the other two beers are much more fruit-forward.


Take the brewery’s flagship Oatmeal Stout, Deth’s Tar, put it into bourbon barrels for two years and you’ll get V.S.O.D.

What I like about Deth’s Tar is that it’s usually a thicker beer with a viscous mouthfeel that’s really great. V.S.O.D. definitely has that familiar body but it’s lost a bit of the well-known chocolate and coffee flavors. That’s apparent from the nose to the taste. 

Stone fruit is the leading flavor on the taste with very light chocolate in the background. The barrel, like the other two beers, is present but not in a hot boozy way. You get the characteristics of leather and oak which are really nice without barrel burn. Like the other two beers, it’s impressive just how smooth these are drinking. At 14.2% you can easily finish a can and not realize how big a beer you just had.  

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