Deth’s Tar, Revolution Brewing

Deth's Tar Label

Basic Beer Info:

  • Brewery: Revolution Brewing
  • Beer: 2013 Deth’s Tar
  • Batch: 2013
  • Beer type: (Barrel Aged) Imperial Russian Stout
  • ABV: 11.4%
  • Imbibition date: 10-30-13
  • Temperature: 53° F
  • Serving type: Poured from 22oz bottle into a large tulip glass.
  • Price: $15.00/22oz (Revolution Brewing, Chicago)

Revolution Brewing is a fairly new Chicago brewery. They first opened their doors in 2010 with a small brewery and eventual pub in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. They’ve really come into form lately, releasing some absolutely fantastic beers. I keep buying their beer with the intention of reviewing it, but I keep drinking it too fast; never stopping and taking the time to actually write down and record the experience. This time, I finally did it. I got my hands on 4 bottles of their recently released Deth’s Tar, a barrel aged imperial stout. This beer is a single-run-never-coming-back-again beer, I was really anxious that they were going to run out before I made it over to grab a few bottles. It is everything I had hoped for, plus a high five.

Appearance: 4.5/5

Sexy. Deth’s Tar pours the same color as the dark brown glass bottle it comes from. A deep brown the color of wet soil with about 1 1/2 fingers of fairly light tan head. As the head recedes after a handful of sips the bubbles become very sparse, almost disappearing completely. The beer itself is entirely opaque.

Aroma: 4.75/5

Oak, so much oak. The nose is initially a very oaky, slightly spicy, nearly identical to a good whiskey. There is not a big booze smell or hotness to the odor at all. No hop aroma but a definite sweetness from the malt. As it warms I get grains. A bit of toast or cracker, maybe bread.

My reviewer’s assistant was very adamant that she got a nose full of whiskey and cherry coke, or maybe rum and coke. I concur, if my eyes were closed and I caught a whiff of this I would assume it was a slightly sweet mixed drink with some whiskey in it.

Taste: 4.5/5

Bliss. My notes say,

“oak, malt, dark malt, chocolate, caramel, OAK, love, booze on back, heat after booze, favorite?”

I really think that this beer has the potential to cellar very well. That booze flavor and heat should (could?) mellow a bit, bringing the chocolate and caramel flavors a chance to mingle a bit more with that oaky malt. I currently have 2 bottle stashed away. Perhaps we’ll see another review in a year’s time.

Mouthfeel: 4.25/5

Great body, smooth with a slight tickle from small, very fine bubbles that you don’t even realize are there until you feel them. The consistency, maybe the coating, really reminded me of milk, or of an oatmeal stout. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there was some oatmeal in the grain bill.


Revolution has such a great aesthetic from a design standpoint. Their entire branding is sharp, focused, and coherent, this label is no different. It’s frame-able.

Overall: 4.75/5

It’s amazing. I struggled with whether to give this a higher overall rating. This is probably my current favorite beer and I think it’ll be there for a while.


Final Rating1: 4.58/5


To see a list of all my beer reviews and ratings, check out the Summary of Beers Reviewed page.

  1. My final rating is a weighted average of the 5 component ratings. See the Beer Review Methodology Page

  2. The aFR (adjusted Final Rating) is my attempt at standardizing beer ratings across the increasingly vast pricing and container volume differences. It ranges from near 0 to near 25, the higher the number is the better the beer is in terms of quality and value. See the Beer Review Methodology Page

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