Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Whale A Week: Revolution Brewing's Deth's Tar

Now in my second year, A Whale A Week is my challenge to try (with an array of beer loving friends) a rare beer for every week of the year.  Last year I had a great time with this and have continued it for 2016.  Not every beer will be a truly "white whale" beer, but all are hard to find and a treat to try!  This week we try something different.  Tired of just trying out one beer (and lets be honest how can I really shrink my cellar at this rate) each week, we're going to break out a bunch of them! 

Revolution Brewing's Deth's Tar

Revolution Brewing is one of the very best breweries in Chicago as of this writing.  Revolution was started by former Goose Island pub brewer Josh Deth in 2010 as a brewpub, and has since added on a second production facility in the Chicago area.  We visited the latter on a trip about 2 years ago and picked up this little gem at the brewery.  Named after Josh, but evoking images of X-Wing squadrons and an exploding Alderaan, this is a big 11.4% ABV Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout.  The brewer uses Warrior hops for bitterness and English Fuggles for aroma.  The beer spends about 10 months aging in bourbon barrels before bottling.  The bottle comes in a cool red box which makes it totally worth more!  We did get to try this fresh at the brewery, and now this bottle is about 2 years old and ready to go! Beer Advocate puts this at 94 and RateBeer at 99 for scores.  

Our judges for this session are me (Rogue Leader); Sarajo (my Leia); Matt Messier (Wookie co-pilot); Teresa (masked and mysterious bounty hunter).  As most great adventures do, this one started with meeting Matt and Teresa over some blue drink at our local Cantina (the Iron Tap)--a wretched hive of scum and villainy.  Later, in a rusted out R2 unit, we discovered a message...and a bottle...

a beer
glass far
far away...

Aroma: In which the rebel scum attempt to steal the plans...

Eric: Molasses.  Dark chocolate.  A bit of strong alcohol on the nose.  Coffee--more of a dark espresso with some burnt character...  Some mild oxidation with a hint of Endor's mossy forest on the end.
Matt: Light and smooth.  Not much on my palate.

Appearance: In which the dark depths of space hide many enemies...

Eric: As black as Vader's helmet.  Head dark tan to almost brown, like the murky bubbling froth of Dagobah's swamps.  Tight bubbles and very persistent.  Deep as quicksand, hiding a sunken X-Wing.
Matt: Dark as night with a small froth.  Layers nicely on the glass.

Flavor: In which the moon that is not a moon positions itself...

Eric: Lots of bourbon right off the bat.  Plenty of vanilla.  Tart cherry notes as it warms.  Super boozy like something Figrin D'an would drink during a set.  Harsh as princess' retort.  Dry and astringent bitterness of coffee and dark chocolate on the finish.  Thick and coats the mouth like mynocks on a ship hull.  Finish has a touch of metallic--like licking said ship hull.
Matt: Initially tastes chocolaty, but burns off inside of the mouth very quickly--leaving and alcohol flavor at the end.

Overall: In which the rebels zoom down a trench and bulls-eye some poorly guarded exhaust ducts...

Eric: A very good beer.  Boozy and creamy, but ends a bit dry and rough.  The bourbon is strong in this one...  4
Matt: I like it.  Being a victim of marketing, a good label with lure me in.  I expected the Deth's Tar to explode my world.  It didn't.  Still a great beer to drink around the fire.  4
Teresa: I taste root beer.  3.5
Sarajo: I give it 4 big black fists...

Overall Score:  3.9 

Your moment of Zen: Sj with her Revolution big black fist tap handle...

No comments: