Revolution Brewing

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #41
Ranked #612
4.43 | pDev: 6.55%
Revolution Brewing
Illinois, United States
Notes: Deth's Tar aged 21 months in Old Forester bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 159 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Extremely dark and completely opaque with just a tiny redish tinge. Actually had a finger of short lived coffee color head which was impressive given the ABV. Aroma is really, really nice, with figs, plums and booze. Taste largely follows the nose with dark fruits complementing the barrels and underlying base beer. This is a great beer.

Apr 03, 2021
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CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

8 January 2021 - Beer #228

Acquired via trade

Appearance: 5 - the blackest beer I've seen in a while. Stunning lacing.

Nose: 5 - an absolute ton of barrel. This smells very similar to the Bourbon County 2-Year Reserve.

Taste: 5 - almost a carbon copy. Hey, they're both in Chicago. Hmm.

Mouth: 4 - extremely smooth, but actually a bit thin, and a bit flat.

Overall: 5 - fantastic. A real winner.


Feb 10, 2021
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DoctorZombies from Florida

4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Canned 1/4/18. At 56 degrees pours an opaque black (SRM 40+) with ruby edges; streaming carbonation; fast fizzy reddish/dark tan head quickly leaves a thin ring; poor cap retention; heavy legs sheet the glass with micro dots of lace on swirl. Aroma is whiskey, caramel malt and fruity esters - sweet plums and raisins; boozy exhale...whiskey more so than bourbon; as it warms, almost like sniffing a sweet young port. Intense bittersweet dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, whiskey, oak and vanilla; sugary raisins and ripe plums; toasted brown bread and chocolate middle; almost sweet boozy port-like finish. Warm but not hot silky mouthfeel from 17.8% abv; medium full body; moderate carbonation; dry, almost dusty finish. Overall, a “wow” beer; amazing balance of dried fruit, malt, and barrel flavors; a bit “thin” feel wise, but still a sipper even though I didn’t find it boozy; assertive layers of chocolate, toffee and whiskey; the dark fruit notes, and the additional bottle aging which renders semi sweet port-like flavors, enhance the tasting experience; sublime and delicious; highly recommend and can’t wait to drink again.

May 03, 2020
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black. 1 finger tan head. The head retention is amazing for such a high ABV beer. No lacing on the glass.
The nose is probably one of the booziest aromas I've ever smelled. I get tons of the bourbon barrels. I get a ton of dark fruits - plum, raisin, dates. Damn full and rich smelling.
Taste - Smooth, Like the nose tons of the dark fruits. Tons of barrel. Caramel, chocolate.
This beer does have a bit of a burn, but it's mellow at the same time. It does seem thinner than it should be, but it's not watery at all.
A tasty, and delicious BA stout.

Apr 26, 2020
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ArrogantB from Colorado

4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great trader sent me this, appreciate it! I’ve had deths tar but never this. Typical black, strong aroma of bourbon, malts, and dark fruit. Taste was heavier on the dark fruit for me and I was expecting something sweeter based on straight jacket. Good beer but I think I liked deths tar better

Apr 13, 2020
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Sandis from Minnesota

4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 version poured from a can into a snifter. Pours pitch black. Moderately thick, with low carbonation and a nice amount of booze flavor. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

Apr 05, 2020
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JayWhitson from Montana

4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Canned 11/21/19. Chocolate, bourbon, plum, fig, red wine, smoke, leather, char, and wood. Mouthfeel is moderate with a significant alcohol burn. A little young but delicious nuances. Time will benefit.

Feb 27, 2020
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matts2896 from Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Soft coconut character leads into malty dark chocolate goodness. Wonderful barrel traits: wood, tobacco, vanilla, and a very mild spice quality.

As with most Rev beers, carb is appropriately low and the body is chewy w/o being overly saccharine.

Flavors meld well, lending a very cohesive sip. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't feel as big or brash as ten-year or ryeway

Feb 25, 2020
WOLFGANG from South Carolina

3.97/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

021620: 2019 Vintage. Soda pop fizzy with no head retention. Complexity along with fusel nose and taste. Chocolate, barrel, dark fruit, vanilla and a touch of smoke. Need a Padrón stick. Thanks, Stephen!

Feb 24, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a fairly black color, with a small head and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like spicy oak, dark fruit, caramelly bourbon, coffee, very dark chocolate, and roast.

This has quite the killer barrel character - there’s tons of spicy oak and warming heat, leathery and caramelly bourbon, dark chocolate bark, espresso truffles, and roasted malt. There’s so much to like here.

This is creamy and medium bodied, with a slight boozy heat. It’s a good sipper.

Revolution keeps swinging for the fences, and keeps hitting home runs.

Feb 15, 2020
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ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours an almost jet black, with a slight red cast, small, quick receding tan head, no lacing.
You get the bourbon aroma as soon as the can is opened. Chocolate and bourbon aromas dominate, hints of wood and ash.
Taste buds get big thrills here, chocolate, plum, raisin, vanilla and of course the bourbon.
As big as this beer is, it feels a bit thin on the tongue, oh well!
Smooth, easy drinking, tasty and unfortunately a bit pricey. Damn fine beer!

Jan 17, 2020
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a tawny-purple hue and a finger-and-a-half of mocha head that’s not long for this world. It does settle into a nice wisp and crown. Almost no lacing.

Strong bourbon in the nose, with hints of dry, dusty chocolate, leather, plum and vanilla.

Sweet tasting up front with lots of fruit (prune, fig) and chocolate, along with more leather and vanilla. The barrel is strong, but well integrated into the base. Just a hint of wood. Not much burn, but a little bite from the alcohol. A touch of baker’s chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste.

Slick, silky feel with a little prickliness to it, too. Not the heaviest bodied Imperial Stout in the world, but quite thick for this brewery.

Overall, this is delicious. It’s got a nice fruit-leather profile, with plenty of English-type depth beneath.

Jan 11, 2020
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Canned 11/21/19
I usually find the Rev stouts to be a bit thinner than my favorite and this years' VSOD is the same. It's more like a porter in look and feel to me than a stout. It's super black though. With the can being relatively fresh, I'm still getting lots of bourbon in the smell which I like. On the tongue it's not too bourbony but more so than a regular BCS in my mind. I taste vanilla notes in the beer but I wish it could be silkier and smoother. It's more bitter than a BCS and I like that. Overall though I still love my BCS more.

Drinking another can while watching the Bears. Unlike the bitter taste in my mouth that the Bears usually leave me, this bitterness is welcomed. I’ve increased my smell and overall to 4.5 now with the age. The chocolate and leathery notes are amazing. I feel like this is a grown up beer. If the pastry boys hate it, that’s a good thing. I happened to open my first Old Forester bourbon ever yesterday too (a bottle of 1910) and loved it. I don’t know if I could ever guess the bourbon barrels chosen, but I’m a bigger fan of the bourbon and BA stouts aged in their barrels now. Birthday BCS was my favorite BCS of the year too. Cheers to Old Forester!

Dec 23, 2019
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PDXAmbassador from Florida

2.81/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Came in last place out of 9 stouts opened at our semi blind BA stout share.

Flavor is so weird - almond extract and black cherry aromas, an almost Dr Pepper taste and mouthfeel - very mild barrel and thin. I’m frankly surprised at positive ratings here.

Nov 06, 2019
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kemoarps from Washington

4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2017 can courtesy of @FlintB and his generosity way back in NBS BIF#007.

Rich almost black body. dense finish like slightly browned obsidian. Small swell of light tan head that immediately dissipates to a ring.

Nose is woody and chocolatey off the top. There's deeply rich roasty malts in there, and the alcohol lurks in the backcground for the first half before being sure to give a whiff of the bourbon burn as you pull your nose away.

First though is that there's more oak from the barrels than I'd anticipated. It's flatter across the palate (not in terms of carbonation, just in terms of flavour profile) than I'd anticipated. More char and wood than the luxuriant richness of chocolate and high spikes of bourbon and sweet vanilla that I'd imagined. That's on me, and shouldn't be seen as a detriment by any means, just different than what my mind had created before sipping. Also very much not to say that the bourbon is absent or anything... quite the contrary. This is a big. Barreled. Stout. In that order. The base stout almost feels like it may have been pretty dry in its previous life, and the oakiness from the barrel rides that wave, while the bourbon offers nuance more than slam dance. Which is weird to type out when the 13.4% is very very readily apparent leaves no mistake about the processing. It's really just an interesting study in contrasts like that... at once bold and assertive while also being somewhat nuanced and reserved.
The flavours that make it around that dry character and the wood are alcohol heat along with dry cocoa and an echo of rich coffee. Bourbon provides some spice and a mild vanilla capper.

Big and boozy this will never be mistaken for anything approaching sessionable, but the high ABV is integrated well and it does not come off as harsh or unpleasant. Thin dry body with prickly carbonation.
Based on what I've heard friends say, i do wonder if perhaps I shouldn't have let it sit quite as long as I did, though I'm sure it helped mellow some of the barrel as well. Still quite good, but not the life changing experience others have reported. Personally I'd prefer a little bit richer character with a little more depth and luxuriance, but that's just me.
Mucho mucho gratitude to Brian for sending it my direction!! Thanks man!

Oct 20, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Matte black with a stark mocha head settling to a persistent creamy collar.

The barrel has added rich maple and charred oak to the dark chocolate base as an assertive peppery bourbon brings a light sharpness in the moderate slick body. The light carbonation finishes with a dry sting bringing a Tootsie Roll and caramel exhale before nougat and dark fruit develop further with each revisit to the glass.

Jun 10, 2019
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tobelerone from New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow this beer brings the most aggressive barrel character of any in recent memory. I appreciate that the base beer is super well crafted and balanced and while overwhelmed by the massive bourbon blast this still drinks great.

Listen you need to be a legit fan of bourbon to dig this. As an avid consumer of the Brown Forman OF line I had a great time. Bourbon drinker’s stout here y’all.

Edit: appears I was pretty drunk when writing this review.

Jun 01, 2019
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cjgator3 from Florida

4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz can with the canning date of 11-28-17 printed on the bottom of the can. Poured into a snifter. The aroma is fantastic, full barrel effect on the nose. The taste is delightfully sweet and smooth up front with some warmth in the finish. The barrel shines in the taste just like the aroma. Absolutely fantastic!

Feb 03, 2019
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2017 vintage.
On draft. Pitch black with some caramel colored crown and islands. Leaves some stringy lacing.
The smell is dark fruit. Raisins, figs, dates. Some burnt roasty notes. Kind of musty.
The taste brings a huge leather presence mixing with that dark fruit. Kind of a smokiness with that leather. Oak.
Dry mouthfeel kind of resembling a smokiness. Dusty. Oak. Thinner on the body than expected.
Overall, a lot different than I expected. A lot more of a smoky/leather aspect that I’m picking up. Musty. Most leather presence I’ve ever had in a brew.

Jan 17, 2019
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CHickman from New York

3.87/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap, it pours pitch black and had a nice small tan head that faded slowly and left decent lacing. Smells like a glass of bourbon with a roasty stout poured into it. It gave off some malty sweetness, but the bourbon was the dominant aroma.

Tastes like it smells with the bourbon dominating the profile and adding in a syrupy sweetness and more malt, or roasted grains. The alcohol was in your face and aggressive, and sadly this lacked the vanilla, char and other barrel aged accents I was hoping for. Overall it was good, but not in the same class as BCBS or Evil Twin BBA stouts.

Oct 25, 2018
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michaelsmith11 from Illinois

4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured dark black and looks rich and thick. The smell up front was the bourbon, with oak, chocolate and some roasted malts. Taste was dark chocolate, toffee, bourbon and a little bit a fruit. The feel was thick and full bodied, very smooth. I really liked this beer.

Oct 07, 2018
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lloydboss from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

November 2017 canning enjoyed May 2018. Slightly underwelmed compared to this year's Deth's Tar & Cafe Deth. Looking forward to trying the 2018 version for comparison.

May 21, 2018
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.64/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thank you bstyle for this
12 oz can, dated 11/28/17, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a small deep mocha head

S- Dark fruits, bourbon, chocolate, oak, toffee, vanilla.

T- Coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon, some vanilla, oak, dark fruits, some toffee/caramel.

M- Smooth, full body, slightly sticky.

O- A great barrel aged stout, truly worth seeking out. Great level of complexity!

May 21, 2018
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emyers from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into snifter. Bottled on 11-28-17

Near black with a thick medium-dark brown head dissipating quickly.

Nose: Very rich and complex bourbon character dominates. Strong but not at all boozy. Undertones of caramel and vanilla.

Taste: same character as the aroma but comes off a bit flat compared to the nose. Still delicious to be sure, just not quite the same amount of depth. Alcohol heat is more apparent on the finish.

Fairly light on the palate, certainly more so than was expected. A bit overcarbonated as well compared to something like BCBS.

May 05, 2018
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miniditka77 from Illinois

4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible amount of barrel and caramel in the smell and the taste, nice and thick/sticky, but not too much bourbon heat. Revolution did pretty well with their barrel aged beers this year, but this one knocked it out of the park. Better than Double Barrel VSOD if you ask me, and probably the best Revolution beer I've ever had. Also possibly the best non-adjunct stout I've ever had. Highly recommended!

Apr 24, 2018
V.S.O.D. from Revolution Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 159 ratings