Revolution Brewing | Mixed Berry Ryeway
Revolution’s at it again. Last year, they decided to release Strawberry Jacket and Honey Jacket during the summer heat – and it worked. This year Revolution did the same thing, albeit all online due to the pandemic. Supermassive Café Deth came out a month ago and sold out very quickly. Now Mixed Berry Ryeway comes out hot on the heels of Supermassive. (No word yet on Thundertaker, their Deep Wood beer that was scheduled for release in April.)
Mixed Berry Ryeway takes a special, 18-month rye barrel aged Ryeway to Heaven and adds blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries, and cranberries to the mix. Revolution really likes its fruits, as it has released Strawberry Jacket, Code Switch, and fruited Deth’s Tar variants. My trepidation comes when the fruit overtakes the base beer instead of complementing it. So how does Mixed Berry Ryeway do?
Right out of the gate Mixed Berry Ryeway pours drastically different from Ryeway to Heaven. A vibrant pink and purple head supplements the dark red and purple hues of the liquid. That head doesn’t stay around long, as it quickly flutters away until gone (gotta be quick to get the ‘gram!). It resembles a red wine when everything finishes.
Hopefully you like fruit, because it dominates the aroma. Raspberries and dark cherries are at the forefront with some alcohol notes backing it up. Chocolate, vanilla, oak, caramel, and walnuts round things out. Sipping reveals a very robber-like mouthfeel (in and out!), not staying on the tongue too long with a syrupy consistency. Impressive.
Whereas the only berry I could pick up aromatically was the raspberry, everything else showed up on the drink. Cranberries provide a fair amount of tartness. Boysenberries and blackberries add some sweetness, but thankfully the tartness cuts into it at the end. Chocolate and vanilla show up ever so transiently and some walnut makes itself known as well. Shockingly it does not drink 12.4%. It finishes dry, leading you to absolutely destroy a can very quickly if you’re not careful. Revolution has figured something out because the Supermassive Café Deth had the same, “I’ll finish the can now and worry about my sobriety later,” attitude towards the alcohol. If this carries into the regular Deep Woods releases watch out.
I know in the past Revolution has given some of its barrels over to companies to make things like Boss Ryeway syrups and such. The very fruit-forward nature of Mixed Berry Ryeway would make a killer sauce (thinking like on cheesecake) or a gelato. But only if everybody doesn’t quickly drink it all.
For me it all boils down to complementing the base beer. Ryeway to Heaven does show up more than, say, Straight Jacket did in Strawberry Jacket, but the fruit really pushes it into the background. My hopes of it being a slightly fruited chocolate/caramel/toffee melange lead to the reality of it being a slightly chocolate/caramel fruit bomb (it’s not really a ticking bomb, though). That being said, the drinkability is off the scale, the sweetness is kept in check by the tartness, and the beer on the whole is very enjoyable. Just be careful you don’t unknowingly drink the entire 4-pack in one sitting.
A big thanks to Revolution Brewing for giving us the can for review. Mixed Berry Ryeway will be released for curbside pick-up on Friday, July 17, 2020 through Sunday, July 19, 2020. 4-packs are $40 with a limit of 3 4-packs per person. As of this writing, 4-pack are still available and can be purchased here.