Midlife Crisis: Revolution’s Deep Wood summer release
‘Tis the season! Revolution has started to release their Deep Wood series of barrel-aged beers, with long lines out in the cold for those eager to get a taste of what Revolution is doing this year. With their Strawberr…
Wait a minute. It’s summer. What the hell Revolution? 13% plus barleywines in the 100 degree plus heat of the summer? Get your sunscreen ready.
So Revolution is releasing two Deep Wood beers this July, which I’ve been assured do not count against the ten they are planning on releasing later this year. So how do their newest Straight Jacket variants stand up?
The first fruited Straight Jacket variant, Strawberry Jacket pours a crimson color with some head that dissipates quickly. There are the familiar Straight Jacket smells on it – caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and some roastiness – but the strawberries added totally dominate the nose, moving the Straight Jacket aromas to the background. The strawberries are up front and reek of freshness. Similar to Straight Jacket, Strawberry Jacket moves across the tongue quickly with medium to low carbonation, serving the barleywine style well.
Did you like Straight Jacket? Well, Strawberry Jacket pretty much muffles everything about the base beer and replaces it with sweet strawberry juice. That Deep Wood burn is absent, with the strawberries cutting a lot of it off and replacing it with sweetness. There are some notes of the caramel, vanilla, oak, chocolate and bourbon, but they are pushed way in the background due to the strawberries.
Overall Strawberry Jacket is more sweet and (obviously) fruit forward than Straight Jacket. For those that thought Straight Jacket was too harsh and/or boozy, Strawberry Jacket would definitely more up your alley. For those that liked Straight Jacket, look elsewhere (like below…)
Simply put, this is Straight Jacket with honey (from bees on the roof of Revolution’s brewery) added post-fermentation. It pours much like Straight Jacket, but with a certain haze and a darker, almost burgundy color. While swirling it in the glass, it moves a bit slower and more viscous. Everything you loved about Straight Jacket is there, with the tingling of the nose prominent. The sweetness from the honey cuts some of the oakiness of the Straight Jacket, but the caramel, toffee, vanilla, chocolate and roast are all present in great quantity.
Honey Jacket it a bit thicker across the tongue and smoother when compared to Straight Jacket. The honey makes Honey Jacket easier to drink, but without losing the alcohol or the flavor. Everything about Straight Jacket is present and accounted for – mainly the caramel, toffee and vanilla – but there is some added sweetness due to the honey. This makes it somewhat easier to drink than Straight Jacket. The bourbon is still present on the finish, whereas it was somewhat muted on the Strawberry Jacket.
Honey Jacket seamlessly marries the honey with the base Straight Jacket without overpowering it in any way. Some of the honey even remains on the lips for additional post-drink flavor enjoyment. A worthy variant and entry into the Deep Wood series.
So I took all three (Straight Jacket, Strawberry Jacket, and Honey Jacket) and blended them together in equal parts. The resultant mix was pretty damn good. Some sweetness, some fruit, and a ton of the base Straight Jacket made for a drinkable, flavorful experience.
Both Strawberry Jacket and Honey Jacket will be available at Revolution’s Midlife Crisis event on Friday, July 19, 2019 from 2 – 11 PM. Both are $40 per 4-pack with a limit of 2 4-packs per beer per person.