Reviewed: Revolution Café Deth
Product description: A weaponized quantity of freshly roasted whole bean coffee from Dark Matter Coffee Roasters imbues our Deth’s Tar Barrel-Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout with assertive coffee aromatics without overshadowing the base beer on the palate. Pair with rich food or enjoy on its own. Keep cold. Enjoy now. We mean it. 14.8% ABV, 35 IBUs.
Revolution Brewing – Revolution Deep Woods Series Café Deth Barrel-Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout with Coffee – 12oz can served in stemless snifter – 14.8% ABV
Revolution continues to release ridiculously strong barrel-aged beers in 4-packs of 12oz cans. What’s inside would normally warrant a $40 wax-dipped 750mL bottle. I’m overjoyed to see this level of beer making it into cans. Both of my previous Deep Woods experiences have been very positive with V.S.O.J. and Code Switch. But neither of those beers were really up my alley, a black barleywine and a barrel-aged fruit beer for lack of a better description. Café Deth, though, sounds like something local favorite Modern Times or AleSmith would make, a bourbon barrel-aged coffee imperial stout.
Cracking open the can, Café Deth is clear sepia in color as it pours into the glassware. Once in the snifter, it is jet black looking topped by a healthy head of khaki foam. Dive in and the aroma is just out of this world incredible. I had just tried the regular Deth’s Tar and the aroma was quite boring compared to this. The coffee version just explodes with blueberry, black cherry, dark rum, and chocolate chip cookie dough. There’s incredible depth with a zillion other aromas.
After a few sips, wow… The body is oily, silky, and absolutely perfect for this style. It glides across the palate with a perfect mix of sugar, roast, and fat. The oatmeal stout base does wonders for the mouthfeel. Overall bitterness is at a 6/10 level as is sweetness. The bourbon barrel character is spicy and warming, but doesn’t detract from either the base beer or the coffee addition. Even in the finish, Café Deth continues to be full-bodied and coating across the palate.
I’m about halfway through the glass, and this beer is just crazy intense. Between the mega dose of caffeine and nearly 15% ABV, it’s like the chocolate dessert version of a vodka Redbull. Something so potent shouldn’t taste this delicious. The closest beer that comes to mind is a variant of Modern Times Monsters’ Park in bourbon barrels with their own roasted coffee, which coincidentally is now also available in 12oz cans.
To continue the comparison, I’m actually not a big fan of Modern Times Monsters’ Park. It’s a huge beer that I believe lacks balance. But the coffee versions are just insanely good. That is a combination between Modern Times using incredibly high-quality coffee that they roast in-house and because the coffee adds some much-needed bitterness. Other imperial stouts I’ve tried recently have relied on acidic, overroasted black malt for balance or wood tannins. Neither are very palatable. Coffee, though, seems to do wonders. It adds savoriness, depth of flavor and aroma, and bolsters bitterness for these mega-rich imperial stouts that tend to lean sweet. Revolution has found some exquisite Dark Matter coffee to work its magic on this beer. The end result is the most impressive beer I’ve had from Revolution. What a show stopper! This is a top beer of the year for me.
I’d also very much listen to the label on this one. If you love coffee, don’t sit on this beer. Drink ASAP. Those amazing coffee aromas may be volatile and disappear with age.
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