Gravedigger Billy
Revolution Brewing

Gravedigger BillyGravedigger Billy
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #6
Ranked #1,245
4.28 | pDev: 7.94%
Revolution Brewing
Illinois, United States
Gravedigger BillyGravedigger Billy
Notes: A cousin of our Willie Wee Heavy, this strong ale was aged in Woodford Reserve barrels for 11 months.
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 296 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of thebeers
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruddy brown with two fingers of airy, tan head. The head dissipates fairly quickly leaving a wisp across the top, a soupy crown and sloppy lacing.

Nice vanilla, toffee and leather show first in the nose, with slight kisses of medicinal cherry, smoke and earthy hops.

Leather, and to a lesser degree, some of the vanilla and the toffee from the nose carry to the taste. There’s a stronger meatiness, which the aroma only hinted at, as well as more of the cherry notes, the hops and some modest alcohol burn. The more I drink, the more I get cherry wood smoke as the dominant impression.

Medium bodied and slick feeling with a little zip from the carbonation.

The smokey/meaty qualities here aren’t my personal favorite, but this is a high-quality beer with plenty of depth, nonetheless. 11-21-18 canning date.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours deep mahogany with a dense tan head that settles to a thick cap, great retention. Random spots of lacing.

Aroma - Barrel, peat, caramel, slightly sweet and smoky, nice char, malt.

Taste - Great caramel, smoke and char, barrel, bourbon, peat, slight dark fruit really complex and super smooth well balanced flavors. Light brown sugar.

Feel - Medium bodied smooth velvet feel, slight arming from the alcohol but super smooth and easy drinking for the ABV.

Overall - Really well done scotch ale, great flavors smooth complex.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can, snifter glass. Darker brown body, amber-caramel hue, one finger white head, plenty of retention and even a bit of lacing. Smell is big caramel and toffee, smooth barrel heat, light vanillin, a dab of smoke, more caramel. Sweet on both the nose and the palate, but with a lot of intense flavours coming from the barrel. Complex blend of vanilla, caramel, a dab of toasted coconut, light smoke, fair bit of bourbon heat, a bit of bitter oak through the finish. Medium bodied, good carbonation.

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Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reddish brown pour with a finger of tan head that dissipated pretty quickly.
Initially had a heavy barrel smell that subsided a bit as it warmed. Caramel, a bit of sweet malts.
Taste follows, caramel, brown sugar, a bit of plum, hints of bourbon.
Medium body, slight warming but not overly so for the ABV.
Overall a pretty tasty Scotch Ale.

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Photo of russpowell
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent copper-hued brown with a thumb+ of tan head. A trace of head retention & lacing

S: Figs, a little bourbon, a little raisin once warm

T: Follows the now, a touch of peatyness & booze warmth & some brown sugar sweetness up front. Brown sugar, caramel, leafy hops, a little peatyness & barrel warmth/dryness once warm. Finishes with peaty & woody notes, plus some booze warmth, also a little fig & general jammyness

MF: Medium body, fairly firm carbonation, warming

At first the Bourbon step this a little bit, Then the Wee Heavy takes over to provide a very nice take on the style

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 11/21/18; drank 12/16/18 @ the Yarchives.

See-through purple/orange appearance.

A violent pour yielded a nice khaki head; nice lace.

Caramel, oak, bourbon heat, mild peat & faint orange citrus notes in the nose.

Creamy, thick mouthfeel.

Cream, caramel & oak flavors up front; mild smoke & faint bourbon heat notes on the finish.

Smokier in the nose than on the tongue, this is a balanced, fine scotch ale. I'd have another.

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Photo of StanleysCup
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared bottle originally purchased in October 2015. Opened at a NYE party hosted by a friend who is a funeral director. Couldn’t be more apropos.

L: dark brown, some reddish hue. Neary opaque.
S: overwhelmed me at first with a boozy bourbon waft. I was worried it had sat too long and/or was going to seem heavier than the 10% ABV. Also noted scents of rum, cocoa, toffee, toasted malts and some prunes.

T/F: simply amazing. Picked up all of the scents above but the alcohol presence was not as pronounced as I originally feared. The malts and barrel aging really stood out as the beer aerated and warmed closer to room temperature. Carbonated was subdued as expected for a high octane beer. No bourbon burn on the way down, either.

O: one of my fave beers in recent memory. I’m glad I saved it for a special occasion and would definitely seek it out again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a medium size light brown foamy head with light retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with some residual sugar and light oak notes is pleasant enough. Taste is a good mix of caramelized malt with residual brown sugar notes and light oak notes and light alcohol phenols are also noticeable. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and light warming alcohol notes are also noticeable. Solid scotch ale but lacking some depth.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2015.
A - Pours a dark reddish brown with almost no head.
S - Aroma is sweet, raisins and boozy.
T - Flavor is caramel, raisins, a little vanilla, some wood and bourbon barrel. A bit of an alcohol bite on finish.
M - Smooth mouth feel, low carbonation. Definitely warming.
O - I'm a big fan of the barrel aged beers from Revolution and this is good stuff.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a dark brown color with a small foamy off-white head with short retention. Smells of caramel/toffee, brown sugar, vanilla roasted malt, and plenty of bourbon barrel poking through. Tastes of toffee/caramel, burnt brown sugar, fig & raisin, molasses. Bourbon barrel gives some woody notes along with spicy bourbon that sticks around to the finish. Medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and slightly warming finish. Malty, sweet and bourbony throughout, good stuff.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appears to be dark brown with a khaki (power failure) head that vanished in an instant.
Aroma is quite boozy, (no complaints there), with hints of sugar and smoke.
Flavors are, caramel, molasses, burnt sugar and vanilla. Bourbon is barely noticeable. Drinks easily and will get you into trouble.
Mouthful is smooth and creamy and coats the mouth.
An excellent beer, stands up well to the best BA Wee Heavies.

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Photo of darktronica
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle opened in October 2016. One of the few wee heavy ales I've enjoyed that really has some noticeable smoke and strong whisky character to it. In addition to the characteristic malt and sweet caramelized sugars, there is sweet potato soju, graham cracker, and a significant contribution from the oak barrel. A unique scotch ale well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2016-06-18 in Columbia, PA from a 2015 22oz bottle.

A - Opaque dark brown with a short light brown head and moderate lace.

S - Bourbon plus roasted grain, mild chocolate and a touch of peat. The bourbon is predominant.

T - Mmmm. Very complex. Much more so than the aroma. Rich, sweet malt, caramel. molasses, fig and light smoke/peat. Enough bourbon/oak/vanilla to add complexity but not overpower. Finish is sweet, flavorful and long lasting with enough roast/hop bitterness for a semblance of balance. Delicious.

M - Thick body and light carbonation. Smooth, sticky and substantial. Excellent

O - I never would have guessed from the aroma how great this beer would taste. Seek this one out.

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Photo of enrique_m
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: amber, cinnamon head, little bit of lacing.
Smell: bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar.
Taste: bourbon, vanilla, and delicious
Feel, smooth and fullbodied
Overall: bdelicious

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Photo of cjgator3
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. Gravedigger Billy is a really nice bourbon barrel aged scotch ale that I thoroughly enjoyed. A really nice malty base with a lot of character from the barrels. Great beer!

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Photo of FBarber
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted as part of a blind tasting.

Pours a dark reddish color with no appreciable head. Very crisp color for a barrel aged beer.

Smell is really complex - you get notes of vanilla and butterscotch all surrounded by the whiskey smell from the barrel aging. C

Taste follows the nose with vanilla, bourbon, caramel all overlaid by a strong smoked flavor that is really unique but very nice. Strong imposing flavors. You get this strong whiskey flavor with notes of the butterscotch and vanilla.

This beer is 10.4 and it feels that way, but it is so smooth and tasty. Medium carbonation.

Overall this beer fared very well in a blind tasting of 5 barrel aged wee-heavies. This was a close to a scotch as the were heavies got. Just very remarkable. If you like whiskey you'll like this beer - if you like barrel aged beer, you'll like this beer.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Toffee, vanilla, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, cinnamon, underlying earthy malt, bourbon and oak. Super smooth. Nice boozy kick. Dry finish, light mouthfeel. A very faint smokiness on the backend. This is really good. Really good.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brownish-red with ruby around the edges. Some dark tan head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves minimal lacing. The aroma is huge. Bourbon hits first, along with dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, and woody smokiness. The taste follows suit. Again, the bourbon barrel character is strong, but you get so much complexity from the base beer. Peet, molasses, dark fruit. The body is medium-full and carbonation is on the lower end of medium. Sticks slightly to the tongue and leaves a slight sweetness. Phenomenal beer.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep copper red color. Has a sweet aroma of vanilla and bourbon. Flavor is a Carmel vanilla, with a bourbon backbone. Flavor is super smooth with a nice aftertaste. Definitely a rich beer but very delicious

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'll be frank, this is probably the best scotch ale I've had. Stays true to the malty stile, yet influenced wonderfully by some outstanding barrel character. Bourbon forward but balanced. Vanilla, oak, hint of smoke, peat, and loads of charred caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Texture is creamy for the style, which I prefer, smooth, and lower carbonation than the pour lead me to believe.
Overall, just simply outstanding. Goes down so easy. Just another example of why I think Revolution has one of the best barrel aging programs in the country.

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Photo of stortore
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bomber into a snifter.

Pours a clear, dark amber with no head and little lacing. Smells terrific, strong bourbon and oak- almost like you have a barrel stave in your glass. Some malt and a hint of vanilla. Not overly complex, but tantalizing. Taste continues the strong bourbon along with caramel, raisins, oak, malt, vanilla and some smokiness. Solid body, leaves a great aftertaste.

Very enjoyable, well worth a purchase. The barrel aging added so much to this, without compromising the style. Will be on my list to pick up very year.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.50 - Poured an incredibly dark ruby and mahogany brown, almost black in color but with tinges of red. Formed a finger of light tan, quickly dissipating head. No lacing.
S - 4.50 - Wow, so much scotch whiskey. Lots of whiskey, little bit of dark chocolate and malts.
T - 4.75 - Sweet malts, chocolate, bourbon, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, molasses and pecan pie. Only reason the taste isnt a perfect 5 is because there is a lack of peat smoke.
F - 4.50 - Nice medium bodied beer. Could have a slightly thicker mouthfeel, but quite good regardless.
O - 5 - I REALLY enjoyed this beer. I can't believe how much bourbon they were able to impart into this beer. It's one of the most delicious brews I've ever had, hands down.

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Photo of timc100
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another great product from the rev barrel program. As with the 2014 batch of Deth's tar and straight jacket, it has great barrel intensity without overpowering the beer.

Huge oaky sweetness vanilla, coconut, caramel and graham cracker. Has the clean, dry fruits of a scotch ale as well as pronounced toffee and caramel. Very smooth, clean mouthfeel and soft carbonation.

One of my favorite barrel aged revolution beers, hope to see this bottled regularly.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with very little lift making it through this beer. Smell has aromas of English toffe, candi sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, oak and a bourbon alcohol finish. Taste follows the nose with toffee malt and candi sugar first to hit the palate. Moderate caramel sweetness and a heafty alchohol presence dominate the midsection with notes of charred oak barrel, vanilla, and brown sugar. More alcohol and bourbon in the finish. Mouthfeel is thick wit moderate carbonation and an alchohol bite in the finish.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark caramel brown with a slight reddish hue and a thin layer of tan foam.

Dark fruits, toffee, burnt sugar, and rather boozy, but a very tempting and sweet quaff of bourbon.

Caramel, toffee, vanilla, slightly fruity, and bourbon.

Medium-heavy bodied, low carbonation, soft, bourbon warmth on the finish.

Overall, doesn't look that great on the pour, but wonderfully smooth and beautifully balanced.

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Gravedigger Billy from Revolution Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 296 ratings