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Familiar Beers Return for Latest Revolution Deep Wood Release

Familiar Beers Return for Latest Revolution Deep Wood Release
Mike Zoller

A trio of familiar faces make up Chicago’s Revolution Brewing’s third Deep Wood release of barrel-aged beers with pickup beginning this weekend at the brewery’s taproom.

Continuing the theme that has become synonymous with Rev’s barrel-aged beers, the three beers are once again well blended showcasing both the adjuncts and the barrel.

At the time of publishing, Deth by Cherries and Straight Jacket were still available for pre-order, but Honey Jacket was sold out. You can see real-time availability here.

Deth by Cherries

First released in 2017, Deth by Cherries returns to the lineup in 2020. Unfermented tart cherries are used in this fruited version of the brewery’s Oatmeal Stout and it once again doesn’t disappoint.

On the aroma, you’ll get a subtle sweetness from the cherries with chocolate and oak. The beer pours a jet black color with a very thin almost non-existent head.

The flavor is a symphony of cherry and chocolate that are balanced all together to create a fantastic taste. Up front, you’ll get the cherries with just a slight tartness but more sweetness; as the sip develops, the chocolate notes become more prominent as the cherry dies down just a bit. The bourbon and barrel are present and they’re important to keep the beer balanced and not just all fruit. In the end, it’s a chocolate-covered cherry in a glass with an ABV of just over 13% and it’s delicious.

Pro tip – let this one warm up just a bit longer and the flavors develop even more and it continues to showcase the barrel and cherries.

Deth by Cherries is $40 a four-pack and at the time of publishing was still available.

Straight Jacket

Revolution’s annual Barleywine returns to the lineup and while every year it’s a solid beer, this year’s version really impressed. While some years it might take Straight Jacket a month or so to lose some of the boozy tones that might make the beer too hot, this year it’s just right. The beer showcases the bourbon barrel so well without losing sight of those classic Barleywine flavors of vanilla and molasses.

The nose features a good whiff of vanilla, fruit, and coconut along with the bourbon notes from the barrel.

As for the taste, as I said earlier this is one of the best years for Straight Jacket. The barrel is so prominent but it’s not too hot thanks in part to the vanilla and molasses. I got light notes of caramel and toffee as well that complete the Barleywine.

Straight Jacket is definitely the most barrel-forward beer of the three in the lineup and it’s one that I can open up and sip by the fire as the weather gets colder and there’s nowhere to go.

Four-packs of Straight Jacket are $25 each and still available on Rev’s website.

Honey Jacket

Honey Jacket was first released in the summer of 2019 alongside Strawberry Jacket. Revolution uses honey from the hives that sit atop the Kedzie brewery so it can’t get much more local than that. The brewery used barleywine that had been aged for 18 months in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels before adding the honey.

While Straight Jacket really showcased the barrel, Honey Jacket really showcases the honey and that’s the star of the beer. The aroma is sweeter than Straight Jacket with light notes of toffee and molasses, but again, the honey shines.

The flavor translates to much of the same with a thicker body and big notes of honey that start up front and stay throughout the taste. Some late barrel heat is noticeable but again, the honey is what you’re going to remember.

It was a tad too sweet for me now, I want to revisit this beer in a few months and see if the honey has come down a bit making way for more of the barrel and other Barleywine flavors.

This beer was sold for $40 a four-pack but has sold out.

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