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Deth’s Tar, Maple Deth Shine in Revolution’s Second Deep Wood Release

Deth’s Tar, Maple Deth Shine in Revolution’s Second Deep Wood Release
Mike Zoller

As the temperatures dip and the days get shorter, barrel-aged season in Chicago continues to ramp up. This weekend, Revolution Brewing will host the second of four releases in their Deep Wood series. A trio of beers highlights this release with two familiar names and a new one to the series.

Like the Thundertaker release, orders must be placed online for curbside pick-up at the brewery. However, unlike Thundertaker, Deth’s Tar and Café Deth will see broad distribution while Maple Deth will be a brewery-only release.

Here’s what to expect from each of the beers this year.

Deth’s Tar

Deth’s Tar is the standard barrel-aged beer that’s been a staple in the lineup for years. This Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout might just be the best version that’s ever been released. If I had to describe Deth’s Tar in one word, it’d be “complex.”

This year’s release has levels of flavor that develop throughout the sip. You’ll get strong notes of bourbon but the beer isn’t overly boozy with molasses, tobacco, and oak upfront. Nice notes of chocolate, vanilla, and coconut follow and blend well with the bourbon to ensure the beer isn’t overly sweet.

It’s a fantastic version this year and one people should get excited for.

Café Deth

Revolution’s coffee variant, Café Deth, is known for its big coffee aroma and the big roasty coffee flavors that follow. Typically thinner than the other beers, this year’s Café Deth seemed noticeably thinner than in years past.

The big coffee aroma is there once again but I did think that the coffee flavor wasn’t as big as previous years. You’ll of course get the coffee right away but it didn’t last as long as what I remembered in 2019. It still tastes great, but maybe after Supermassive Café’s release over the summer, it would be hard for Café Deth to match the coffee levels of what might have been the most ultimate coffee barrel-aged beer the brewery has ever released.

Maple Deth

The new beer in the lineup, Maple Deth uses barrel-aged maple syrup from local producer Chicago Maple. What concerned me the most when it came to Maple Deth was how the syrup would be incorporated into the beer. Far too often, breweries go heavy on the syrup and you end up getting a sugary mess that overpowers the bourbon and the beer.

When you open Maple Deth you won’t be smacked in the face by maple and that’s a good thing. If you open a beer and you can smell the maple from across the room, it’s most likely going to be too much on the taste. Maple syrup is a powerful ingredient and when overdone you might think you’re drinking syrup rather than a barrel-aged beer. That’s not the case with Maple Deth. It’s excellent.

Revolution has a pedigree of blending their beers and not overdoing it on any one ingredient. Maple Deth this year is perfectly balanced and while there’s noticeable maple syrup, it’s not overpowering and provides a pleasant sweetness that pairs nicely with the barrel characteristics of the Deth’s Tar base beer.

With the syrup, you get a beer that’s lower in ABV so it won’t be as bourbon-forward as the other two beers in the release but that’s to be expected with the addition of the maple. The new addition to the lineup impresses using an adjunct that is often overused to mask the beer.

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