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Gravedigger Billy - Revolution Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gravedigger BillyGravedigger Billy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.96%
Wants: 24
Gots: 35 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Revolution Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A cousin of our Willie Wee Heavy, this strong ale was aged in Woodford Reserve barrels for 11 months.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 02-08-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mecummins:
Photo of mecummins
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

mecummins, Aug 20, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5oz sample glass at Revolution.

A - Served filled to the brim, with a thin tan foam cap, thicker collar, and surprisingly decent retention. Lightly haze caramel-brown body with some lighter orange-red highlights.

S - Plenty of delicious bourbon, barrel, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla, and a hint of chocolate. It's got that characteristic Woodfoord Reserve character, complete with a bit of alcohol bite and dry oak.

T - I actually like the taste a bit better, as there's more delicious caramel and other sweet flavors and less in the way of harsh barrel presence. No alcohol at all, and tons of potent flavor, but manages to avoid being cloying.

M - Smooth, creamy, full body, with light oak and barrel tannins in the finish. Alcohol is really well-hidden - I never would have surmised this was in double figures.

D - This is another barrel-aged winner from Revolution. I don't normally like BA Scotch Ales, but this was delicious and I actually regret not ordering a full serving. Hopefully this is still on-tap next time I swing by the brewpub.

MasterSki, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.4/5  rDev +3%

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery taproom.
Pours a dark but clear reddish-brown with a slight tan head that quickly dissipates.
The aroma is really nice. I get bourbon and vanilla, toasty malt and a hint of dark fruit.
This is a very tasty beer. Lots of roast malt flavors -- chocolate and toffee and then bourbon and a little bit of sweet dates. A little bit of booze kick and drying bitter at the end.
Mouthfeel is medium-smooth.
Overall, a wonderful beer that I did not want to stop drinking. Hides its booziness quite well.

SD-Alefan, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev -6.3%

77apm, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of Zonian1
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Zonian1, Oct 23, 2014
Photo of tjsdomer2
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Brown with a reddish tint. Surprisingly thin.

Smell: Bourbon oak with some soaked apples and plums. Very sneaky smell...alcohol is definitely evident in the finish.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Bourbon and oak/cedar traits. I love the molasses and raspberry flavors...they are extremely faint and subtle but definitely there. Feels like a good session ale, but finishes like bourbon...kind of like a good college party. There is definitely a burn in this. Perfect.

Overall: An incredible scotch ale.

tjsdomer2, May 25, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Gonzoillini, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

StoutItOutLoud, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of BigDiesel
4.44/5  rDev +4%

BigDiesel, Oct 27, 2014
Photo of Beerpiggie
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Beerpiggie, Oct 25, 2014
Photo of sahd-1
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

sahd-1, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of tourdot
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

tourdot, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft serving at Revolution.

Wispy khaki tan foam on the surface, there was a thin finger of foam initially but it fades after a few minutes, not surprising considering the abv. Murky ruddy brownish red coloration, semi-opaque with some visible carbonation arounf the edges.

Deep aromas of bourbon and peated malt, mostly bourbon though. Sweet brown sugar, vanilla, toasted oak, some light spirit fumes. The peated malt comes through more in the taste, rich with some earthy peat complexity, still identifiable as the base beer, with layers of bourbon barrel characteristics over the top. Rich and burly with a low to medium carb level. Slight alcohol bite in the finish, but it's tempered by the big malt sweetness, though not fully disguised. In the end the bourbon character slightly overshadows, but at least there was some nuance from the base Scotch Ale. Unique and recommended, this is a fine BA Scotch/Wee Heavy... can't say i've had many of those.

emerge077, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of blue-dream
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

blue-dream, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of BeastLU
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

BeastLU, Thursday at 01:44 PM
Photo of KDawg
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap at revolution. Poured into a snifter and pours a pitch black color with a nice head

very pungent and though the bourbon notes are there, they are well balanced. Great depth along with aromas of black cherries, raisins, plums, malts and bourbon.

Full bodied with a real polished and smooth feel. It handles the size of the beer well with great flavors of malts, bourbon, black cherries and some plums

It would be great if they had this more often. This was excellent and was really aided by the bourbon barrel.

KDawg, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of jegross2
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Gravedigger Billy from Revolution Brewing Company out of Chicago. I wonder if this brew is named after the Simpsons' character (no, I am not referring to Groundskeeper Willie). Revolution is quite possibly Chicago's best brewery, and they'll be canning some of their year-round beers for distribution very soon (likely within the next 2-3 months).
Score: 98

9 oz tap pour served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 02/23/12.

Appearance: This beer is a very deep/dark and opaque brownish red color with caramel colored highlights, not unlike the Founders Backwoods Bastard. Served with a finger of creamy tan/off-white head that ultimately settles into a thin creamy layer around the glass. Solid lacing. 4/5

Smell: Caramelized brown sugar, sweet raisin and sweet dark fruit. A little bourbon, lots of vanilla/oak, "roasty" malt, a hint of chocolate, and a light amount of spice. Some molasses too. A very sweet smelling, complex barrel-forward aroma. 5/5

Taste: Whoa! The flavor follows the nose, but it's even more satisfying. Tons of flavorful barrel flavors throughout. Sweet and chewy bourbon soaked raisins upfront. Then vanilla, malty caramel, plum, fig, and molasses soak the midpalate. A little wood and spice on the midpalate too, in addition to a hint of hops and a light cocoa flavor. No alcohol/boozy flavor present, but some warming effect does occur on the palate. A second wave of malty sweet caramel, vanilla and raisin hits towards the finish and reloads the barrel flavors for a long-lasting bourbon soaked raisin finish. The scotch ale characteristics do not really stand out by any means, but they blend in perfectly with the bourbon barrel flavors to create a truly magnificent beer. As it warms, a certain straight bourbon flavor comes out towards the finish for those who enjoy that sort of thing. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Sweet and moderately dry finish. The mouthfeel is damn near perfect. 5/5

Overall: Easily the best Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy that I have ever had. This brew blows Backwoods Bastard out of the water and should be sought after. Sadly, it's a brewery only tap, costs $8 for a 9 oz pour, is not sold in growlers and when it's gone, it'll be gone. In other words, head over the brew pub now -- before it's too late. Hopefully this beer will find its way into a special bottle release once Revolution gets its distribution underway. I would absolutely buy this one again.

Recommendation: Go to the brewery this weekend to have a snifter-full of this beer. You will absolutely regret missing this one. Even casual beer drinkers should love the balanced, sweet and flavorful taste.

Pairings: Beef jerky.

Cost: $8 for a 9 oz snifter pour.

jegross2, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of tfidler
5/5  rDev +17.1%

tfidler, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received by a super generous trading partner, and shared tonight with some dudes.

Pours a dark golden brown, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells just like I'd expect the perfect BA Scotch Ale to smell- bit hit of bourbon-soaked barrel, booze, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and butterscotch.

This is really, really tasty, might be the 2nd best barrel-aged scotch ale I've had, behind Wulver. It's got a ton of bourbon flavor, the Woodford flavors are really strong and really forward here. I've never tried Woodford on its own, but it seems to be a very bold bourbon, spicy and sweet all at the same time. The barrels themselves lend a nice vanilla and coconut flavor, with some caramel, smoke, and toffee from the base beer. This is delicious.

This has got a sweet and sticky mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation. There's a really nice level of drinkability here.

Revolution crafted a really good BA Scotch Ale here.

GreesyFizeek, Thursday at 06:49 AM
Photo of AshJazz
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

AshJazz, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of dabeers
3.5/5  rDev -18%

dabeers, May 24, 2013
Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

JohnnyChicago, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of chrismattlin
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%

chrismattlin, Nov 11, 2014
Photo of Drucifer
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Drucifer, Oct 17, 2013
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Gravedigger Billy from Revolution Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.